a look back at the decade

my truest saves Africa for 2 1/2 years (3/6/06 – 9/9/08)

if there was any doubt that she was a fallen angel, they went away when the sweetest girl flew away to deepest darkest africa and taught the world to sing.

her dream had always been to join the peace corps. one republican bf after another did their best to crush her dream. they told her she was too old. they told her she was too young. they told her that because of this that or the other thing she wouldnt be allowed in.

but she did that this and the other thing and on a super sad day she flew to massachussets, home of the corps, and the powers that be looked into her big blue eyes and said we are going to teach you everything you need to know, but if youre hearts not in it you will be sent home. likewise if you dont have what it takes you will ask to come home because this aint no Real World on MTV this is one of the poorest countries in the world where many of these folks have never seen a white person

a place where so much is against the law – like two ladies kissing – and it will get you sent to jail for a decade. a place where you have to boil yr own water. a place where orphans are orphans because their parents died of AIDS but the whole village thinks it was just some Evil Spirit.

a place where little kids hobble around with one arm and one leg and big smiles. a place where they dont speak english, in deed you have to learn the african tongue.

she didnt blink, indeed those eyes just got bigger and bluer and her heart pounded because she was up for a Big Game. she was up for something more important that quality assurance at a dumb dot com in santa monica. she was up for something life changing and dangerous and wild and crazy and important and helpful and holy and beautiful.

she went to africa and it was weirder and wilder and woolier than she expected and she loved it. others quit immediately. she hung in there. others freaked out about the bats and the rats and the superstitions and the lack of tony pierces but she stuck it out and in fact thrived.

little kids cried when they saw her walking down the street because they thought she was a ghost. Mzumbo! they yelled (white girl!) and in their language she laughed and said “thats Ms. White Girl” and they stood frozen in awe and then jumped back into the jungle (later to be totally wooed by her).

she danced in the discos in the main city, learned where to rent dvds in the little city. and figured out how to turn nothing into a Piggery in the tiny town. and when she left they cried and danced but mostly cried.

these are people who have seen great tragedy in their lives. theyve had huge reasons to cry, but when our little angel had completed her task they wept like Dick Cheney was going to replace her.

ive done some mighty fantastic things in my life dreams, but nothing compares to the time that the whitest girl you know who shops at Whole Foods, listens to NPR, drives a hybrid, and tears up during reruns of Gilmore Girls toughed it out in the motherland and left the place better than she found it.

a true inspiration to everyone she touches. and one of the finest parts of the 00s.

2 thoughts on “a look back at the decade

  1. Tony, you have such a way with words.  From a fan of over 7 years.  Been to LA in that time and for a split second thought of reachinig out to you to meet for drinks and stories.  Ultimately felt effin unworthy.  Ended up seeing Mencia, a sure thing.  After all, I am a rather regular dude…  Love your blog and the way in which you makre life connections.

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