Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
- TITLE: Coffee with Zoe
By dub W
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Zoe looked up from her textbook and nodded.
“Are you taking Dr. Barton’s other class next term?” Megan blew the steam off her coffee.
Zoe put a pencil in her book and closed the pages holding the book under her chin. “Why?” She pushed her glasses back on her nose. “You taking it?”
Megan laughed. “No, I hate, I mean I dislike that stuff, too many obscure facts to memorize.”
Zoe rolled her eyes. “Yes, history is like that. Why do you think I should take it?”
“Well, you know.” Megan squirmed in her seat.
“Oh, because Dr. Barton is African American, you thought I would want to take it.”
“No, I mean, maybe, yeah.” Megan’s eyed dropped. “But, you’re not African American, you’re African.”
“I’m Kenyan. Kenya is a country.” Zoe placed her book on a chair. “What do you know about the continent of Africa?”
Megan looked around the room as if looking for help. “Uh, like there’s elephants, lions, and tigers and hippos.”
Zoe rocked back in her chair. “Yes, there are zoos and wildlife parks in many countries in Africa. I think the same is true for North America, maybe some different animals.”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“You should visit sometime, discover one or two of the countries in Africa. Go on a mission trip.” Zoe smiled at her classmate. “Go to Kenya, my family would entertain you. They could take you all over the nation. You could discover our people. Kenya has many different cultures, like Swahili on the coast, and other different cultures and tribal languages in the interior.”
Megan gulped. “Uh, but, you speak English.”
“Oh, my. I am calling Dr. Barton for you. Yes, I speak English, and French, and Portuguese; most Kenyans speak multiple languages, including a local dialect. How many languages do you speak?”
“Oh, I took Spanish last term.”
“Well, that’s more than most Americans.”
“But, isn’t it dangerous to live in Africa?”
“Isn’t it dangerous to live in Detroit?” Zoe squinted at Megan.
The quick retort caught Megan off guard. “Well, Detroit and any big city can be dangerous if you go to the wrong area.”
“So, if you visit my country, do you think I would take you to a dangerous area?”
“No way, at least I hope not.” Megan giggled. "But, isn't Kenya in revolution?"
Zoe ignored the question. “Tell you what I am going to do. When I get back to the dorm I am going to dig out my copy of Ngugi wa Thiong'o‘s novel. He is one of the best known writers of Kenya. His book, Weep Not, Child talks about life in Kenya during the British occupation. Read it then you can impress Dr. Barton in class.”
“That would be so cool.”
Zoe laughed. “Only thing is, if you start talking about African history, Dr. Barton will recruit you for his next field trip.”
“I think that would be fun, are you going.”
“Maybe,” she laughed again. “But, I kinda know the culture of my country, I am afraid he would make me a guide.”
“Probably. But just think, you would have one us dumb American’s to help tutor.”
Zoe pointed at Megan’s coffee. “Your coffee is getting cold.”
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