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Showing posts from November, 2013

The Crazy Folk

The crazy folk. Not the most sensitive term, but admittedly the one I use with other volunteers. Every community has them. They are by turns amusing, tragic, and terrifying.


My first was The Top. I met him in my first week of service in Aounate. At that time, I had no internet access in my home, so I lugged my old laptop, Lappy, to the sole wi-fi-enabled cafe in town. Sipping my bitter brew, I saw him there, in the cafe patio, deftly spinning in place. He must have been in his early 40's, in good physical health, by all appearances. Upon his head, a dark, curly quasi-fro, and on his face, intense concentration. His eyes focused on no man, and through his lips passed nothing intelligible. He simply spun. Spun and mumbled.

Another caffeinated patron noticed my interest and alarm. In a most reassuring tone, he said "Hania, hania. Mashi Xatir. Thnna." - "It's fine, it's fine. He's not dangerous. Don't worry about it." 

That night, long after my neig…