Friday, April 3, 2009


Nooo! Not that! Not the hair!
Last Tuesday brought more pain than I expected. It began with Everine picking out the cornrows in Imani's hair. So far so good . . .
Not the happiest moment -- for mom or daughter.
Part the hair, smooth it down with lots of Vaseline. . .
Begin new braid . . .
Nearly done . . .
Lookin' good in the neighborhood!
After Imani's hair was done, I drove over to visit my favorite friend, Anab. At the door, I stared in shock at the totally empty apartment. The window where 7 children had pushed and elbowed each other to wave at me now hung with neat new vertical blinds.
The kitchen where she stored spaghetti in a non-working dryer, where she made Somali Pasta for me, where I watched her fry fish and boil potatoes was barren of all life. Of her.
Tears filled my eyes as I stood there. Her neighbor slipped out to tell me that Anab and her family had moved. Where? To Maine, she thought. Maine? I have learned that this sudden, unexpected departure is common to refugees. Here today, gone tomorrow, without even a word of farewell. But I can't leave it at that. Good-bye Reduan, Omar, Fadumo, Salah, Mohammed, Farah, Maimunha, and Abdulkadr . . . (photo removed by request)

And good-bye, Anab. I love you. (photo removed by request)

Mungu akubariki. May God bless you.

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