Wednesday, February 18, 2009


The other night I was sitting on the couch that has recently been relocated to our back porch. I was in the midst of our first house party (Elsa and the awesomeAWESOMES had just performed. Sveen wore nothing more than a horizontally striped pair of briefs. He did some jumping jacks and tumbles while rapping and singing and drumming…in the horizontally striped briefs). My friend Thapz, a black South African from Joburg was talking to my friends Lesley, Sarah and I. He said he knew a girl from our program a few semesters ago who was coming back to Africa in a few months. He said she wanted to live here. She “has an African heart,” he said.
I went to bed about an hour later wondering what that meant, to have an African heart. And conversely, what does it mean to have an American heart? Do I have either? Do I have the heart of a country I’ve never even been to?
The possibility of being rooted in a place without even knowing it. Would this girl have known that she had an “African heart” if she hadn’t come to Africa? How do you know? How do I know anything like that… How do you place such a huge part of yourself in a geographical location…

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