A journal entry from Saturday, January 4, 2014
I understand now, why he can’t understand, why he probably never will. Cows and pigs and goats and donkeys were never a big part of our lives. They never stopped us from going to school on Fridays. We never cried with the rest of our community for people going to America, never went to the airport and waved until we couldn’t see them anymore, and then cried with everyone on our way home. I have never cleaned a floor on my knees, never polished one with a coconut brushed. Never had to carry anything on my head. Happiness being a bunch of crap to him makes sense now. We have television and computers. We can take vehicles to school. We have shoes, more than one pair.
He said we should remember where we’re coming from and look where we are now. But he doesn’t know what he’s telling me to look at. I remember laughing there, with my friends at night. Enjoying myself at school. Knowing the people I lived with. Having family and friends around me. When I came here I bought myself a laptop after working for the first time one summer. It was my first laptop. I bought and got clothes, bags, shoes, hair products. I’ve used four phones, in three years. But he doesn’t understand. We don’t care that much about the materials. I would prefer to have one good friend over a laptop, or all the clothes and shoes I could buy. He doesn’t understand how isolated we feel, how isolated we are. He has worked all his life, and he still does. He is okay with keeping his head down and leaving his back to the sun, but we need people. We need love. Love doesn’t come from computers, or clothes or shoes, or even good grades. They don’t come from his absence, or his inability to understand that we need him, not just to provide for us.
I don’t want him to die. I want to teach him. I want to make him understand what we feel, one day, when he is willing, when we have time. I want to talk to him and let him know who I am, and ask him what he thinks, find out who he is. I want to tell him why I cry, and why…but maybe he won’t get it. He won’t get it right now.