Day 14: What is your earliest memory?

The day I turned two, my sister convinced me that it was tradition to lick the icing off one’s second birthday cake. Inasmuch as a four year old can convey the idea of tradition, she effectively persuaded me that what she had done at her second birthday party was exactly what I should do at my second birthday party. Personally, I think she just wanted an excuse to “help” me scrape the icing off half of the sheet cake before our mom noticed what we were doing. Continue reading



Sunshine and cigarettes and the sound and smell of the surf as it skirts the shore. Hot and heavy with humidity, the ocean air is tangy on my tongue and sticky on my skin. The breeze causes a skeletal  rattle from the coconut tree fronds above me, and I absent-mindedly pick up a fallen baby coconut from the sand, rolling the still green fruit in the palm of my hand. Pausing to examine the smooth green exocarp, I imagine I can see a cartoon lion’s face in the natural patterns and smile lazily in amusement. Continue reading



Sunset brings respite from the heat of the day, and the city of N’Djaména breathes out a collective sigh of relief as its inhabitants go through the routines of settling in for the night. Inside, my mother and sister are preparing dinner, and from my seat on the still-warm cement of our front porch, I absorb the last of the early spring day. We have reached the end of harmattan’s towering dust clouds, and this year’s hot season has not quite crescendoed to full strength. Continue reading