Today was a weird day. I found out after class that my dog was put down last night. This further confirms my theory that no conversation started by my father with “Hey Em” (or “Hey kid,”) ever ends without something horrible happening in it.
Linguistic weirdness aside, I didn’t think this was a particularly sad thing. The dog was very old for a greyhound, and had been very sick for a long time. She was put down at home, and as far as doggy lives go she lived a remarkably good one. I was bummed out, but we all knew it was coming.
Then I returned to the host compound of unusually spiked emotions, where–after my host mother told me she was going to whip me so I learn Wolof, because that is the way to make your host child less scared of you of course–I spent most of lunch trying not to cry. (Which, to be fair, not the first time that this has happened. This is just the first time that the reason for the tears wasn’t in the room while I was eating.)
After I finished lunch (and the subsequent mostly-joking fight with my host mom about how I hadn’t eaten enough), I retreated to my room, where I broke down sobbing.
So that was unexpected. Continue reading