Mi lill padi’s come

View other: Intern Stories

Sometimes when the children are hissing or calling me (hey, you, white, white
woman/man, auntie, madam, padi - krio for buddy - Lebanese, or
Pakistan?!- due to the UN military brigade that was here after the
war...), I find myself resisting the urge to ignore them like a good
private Canadian, just walking along, minding my own business,
maintaining my sense of anonymity and personal space. But here I am so
conspicuous, and possibly the only Caucasian female they’ve ever seen
up close (the mere sight of which has been enough to send toddlers in
the more remote villages into screaming fits of terror!). Besides, it
takes so little acknowledgment from me to send them into peals of
laughter or to bask in the eruption of radiant smiles. So I smile,
wave, give high-fives, asking “how di bodi, padi?” and “Was yu nom?”
Then there are the shy ones who just start walking beside or behind
me, and seeing an open palm, I find they’ve slipped hot little hands
in mine. I have never lived in such a warm and open place where
everyone and anyone just asks to stop and chat, new friends want to
spend time daily, neighbors cook for me, men I’ve casually met twice
(and made the mistake of giving my phone number) have sent endless adoring text
messages and call at all times of the day or night, and the front
veranda my office/house is sometimes filled with kids just hanging-out
and waiting for their turn at the nearby water pump. There is no sense
of personal space or privacy, but I can give that up for all the
affection I’m getting, and even if I don’t really want it half the
time, sure beats the alternatives.


Be the first to comment on this story. Use the form below.

Leave your comments on this story:




Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Submit the word you see below: