Friend and Sister, that’s what I was called today on two separate instances. The first came from a stranger and the later wasn’t from my brother. But let me back track…
I woke up this morning and watched an episode of Chelsea that I had downloaded from Netflix. I like to wake up to a good laugh and she always delivers. I then meandered over to the kitchen where I made myself some toast, in the oven old fashion style, and slathered some PB & J on those suckers and devoured them while I wrote a paper on the factors that will increase genome-wide association studies on connecting genes to mental health, you know the usual. And then I tried to connect to the internet…
I tried loading up my email and was greeted with slowness. Page after page went blank as I tried to refresh them. What does this mean? Maybe Facebook has figured out a way to be better than the internet…refresh…no such luck. I guess Mark Zuckerburg isn’t quite the genius we all thought he was. Not even the coveted Pinterest would load and that’s when I remembered, I have to reload our wifi. This foreign concept that I must load money onto a SIM card and then buy a monthly bundle of either 10GB, 20GB, 30GB, or 40GB. Not even the sounds of John Mayer and Billy Joel could calm me of my panic. I didn’t have the foggiest idea how to do this? Was I back in the dial-up era? AOL? AIM? What was going on here?!
I digress, it wasn’t all that bad, just that I inherited my grandmother’s gene to exaggerate. So, I made my way to the Makeni Mall where I explained my situation to the nice gentleman at the magical land where I can bring devices and they fix them with a simple flip and switch. However, as nicely dressed as we was, he didn’t seem to know what to do either. Terrific. So, I told him I would be back and went grocery shopping while he figured out how to work the device his company sold me. I went into Pick N Pay where I bought some groceries, they didn’t have eggplant (just wait), and essentials only to have them take back the shampoo at the check-out because it was 30k ($3) more expensive than I thought and I wasn’t about to over pay. Wesley’s got me on a tight leash with our budget.
I then took out my groceries to the car and walked to the other market, Food Lovers, to see if maybe they had eggplant. All I need is an eggplant, so I strut in, don’t grab a basket or cart, and feverishly turn my head looking for those plump, purple veggies only to be knocked out of my hunt by a gentleman stocking the produce. “You don’t need a basket? Why don’t you need a basket?” I turned and still walking forward responded, “I know what I need and I won’t’ need a basket for it. Thank you!” I chuckled and kept walking on only to be pursued by said gentleman. “So no basket? Okay, will you be my friend?” I paused for a second and looked back to see if I’d heard right. How did he get from basket to will you be my friend? He continued, “Yes, be my friend, why don’t you?” I kept walking, looking for my eggplant and proceeded to take a “phone call” but exited sans eggplant for my curry.
I don’t have a moral of that story, other than it’s happened to me about three times to be someone’s friend while I’m shopping. I guess I need to work on my RBF.
Now, I’m back at the magical wifi store, the guy still can’t tell me what’s wrong but promises that it will work. I ask for his phone number in case it doesn’t so that I can continue bothering him about it while he’s off the clock. Awesome. I walk out and pass by a couple of nuns. I double back and approach them because I want to know if they work at a school that I’ve been trying to get ahold of. Mind you, this is a shot in the dark here considering half the country is Catholic but hey they looked harmless. So, I asked them, “Hello, sorry to bother you but are you ladies from the City of Hope?” To which they replied that indeed they were! Wonderful! I was so excited at my spontaneity and luck that I completely forgot what I was bothering them for, so I quickly regain my composure. After all these were just nuns, but even I felt like they were sacred and just a direct phone call away from the good Father’s listening ear. I proceeded to tell them that I have a friend, Lauren, who is a brilliant pediatrician here in Lusaka and is going around to different schools giving lectures on nutrition and health for students and parents. I shamelessly continued to plug Lauren’s good work when a young man came up to the group of us. He shook each of the sisters, greeting them with Sister [insert name] and then turned to me, did a once over and took my hand and called me sister as well. I didn’t bother to correct him because call me crazy, but for a split second, I felt holier. After all that, I got Sister Celeste’s phone number and we’ll be in touch.
Moral of that story, don’t be afraid to talk to nuns, they can make you feel pretty holy.