I was really stressed out this morning, after reviewing my payback options at the student loan office yesterday. I had no milk for coffee either, which always makes things seem a little worse than they are.
I put on some high sandals to try to at least not look schlubby, and went to the store for milk and the paper (thanks a lot Roberta Smith, like I needed another article about James Franco).
This is where it got interesting. I was walking home when a man approached me at the corner of Benefit and Olney Street, and asked for directions to Broad Street.
I tried to tell him how far it was, but it turned out that he was looking forward to the walk. He told me he was here from Guinea-Bissau, and had been at the Youth Crime Watch International Convention in Orlando before coming to Providence to meet his friend. He said his name is Malam Camar, and that he is the president of his countries' chapter of JCCGB (Jovens Construindo a Cidadania Guine-Bissau). I tld him I went to art school, and he said he was an architectural engineer, works in construction. I think he is also running for regional office, if I understood right. I kind of wish I could have walked with him the whole way.
Now that I'm home and caffeinated, I have looked him up, he's the real deal. Awesome.
He is pictured here, in yellow, leading a discussion about a UN model police station project.
After reading books about Sudan, and Liberia this summer, I have spent a lot of time thinking about West Africa, the experiences of people in those war-torn countries, and what it might be like to try to come here to the US and make your way around. Enter Malam.