Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Frank Conversation with a Swazi Friend

Me: I am fifty years old today.
Philemon: You do not look that old.
Me: Thank you—I am not ready yet to be a gogo (grandmother).
Philemon: Most Swazis do not live as long as that.
Me: Yes, I see that.
Philemon: I think Americans feed themselves better than Swazis do.
Me (wanting to understand how he viewed this): Why do you think this is?
Philemon (factually, almost apologetically, without a trace of self-pity): I think it is because of poverty, ma’am, and disease…..

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