|Image: Beineke library|
We never realized how much of an African child she was until we came here for this period of almost four months that we'll be spending here.
Suddenly my daughter seems out of place and people don't understand her. Not only her language, but most ardently her behavior. People don't get what's going on with this little white child who seeks contact with others immediately, who runs around naked all day, who is on edge because there are too many people, too much noise and nobody seems to look after her but her mommy. Nobody gets why she is so connected and still sleeps with her parents and 'still' nurses at almost three years old...
It's not written on her face that she is in fact a little African child and she thinks and acts as a little African child would do.
She carries her dolls on her back and her stuff on her head. She dances the Makuka and seeks Zemblé behind closed doors.
It causes a lot of confusion.
She struggles to adapt to what is expected of her here. I didn't know how much she tried until she had our Ivorian driver on the phone and suddenly she was speaking with an accent again... I realized how much of the accent she had lost over the months here, how much she was trying to conform... How difficult it must be for her.