Wednesday, August 21, 2013
HELLO, PEACE CORPS MOMENT
In continuing with this week's wedding theme, here's a little anecdote of a total Peace Corps moment - those moments where you really, truly, completely unironically understand your purpose here.
In PST, one of the things my host father did that shocked me and disturbed me (besides getting his feet rubbed by the 9-year-old neighbor girl, my buddy Klerida, or giving his 2-year-old grandson a cigarette to play with) was when he asked me if I would ever marry a Black man. I told him, of course - skin color doesn't matter, it's what's inside that counts, all the usual, but totally true, cliches - and he freaked out. "No no no!" He stated emphatically in shqip, "White goes with white and black goes with black. I'm not racist. But white goes with white and black goes with black."
I mean, at that point I'd known the man for less than a month, and not only did he want a say in whom I marry, an invitation to the wedding, and rights to nix any match, he suddenly needed to make a comment about race? WTactualF.
BUT - and this is a huge but - as I was saying goodbye to everyone on Thursday, he suddenly had a great idea. "Ask her if she'll marry a Black man!" he said eagerly, as if my answer would be entertaining and shocking for the group. They did, I answered my usual answer (a little more emphatically than usual, seeing as, really? Were we really covering this again?), and then my host father said something that gave me goosebumps:
"Isn't she great? She's not racist! She likes everyone! She's a good person! I'm so proud of her!"