My favorite, though, is D.L. Mayfield’s column “Assimilate Or Go Home: Dispatches from the Stateless Wanderers.” She writes about living in low-income housing with Somali refugees in Portland, Oregon and ‘putting the fun back in fundamentalism.’
Her first installment, We Are Fundamentalists, begins,
Several years ago I showedThe Jesus Filmto an apartment packed with devout Muslims. I had ordered theVHSoff of a special minister-to-Muslims website (it was pretty old school—hence, theVHS). The people were Somali Bantu, recently arrived from decades spent languishing in a refugee camp. I was the earnest young volunteer with English language skills and free time to burn. The apartment was small and hot and musty, full of the smells of food and people who don’t adhere to western methods of personal hygiene.
I was nineteen years old, and I wanted to be a missionary.
In her latest column, she talks about motherhood and death:
When I woke up so swollen I could barely open my eyes, I thought it strange. On the way to doing other important errands, I stopped in at the local hospital to get my blood pressure checked. The nurses frowned, ever so slightly, and the air changed. The afternoon stretched on, a forced sort of cheerfulness underlying all the tests and paperwork and chart-checking. A strange doctor came into the room to chat and I couldn’t understand what he wanted from me. He talked about my liver failure, of the blood pumping and exhausting my heart, of platelets being destroyed and the imminent refusal to clot. I thought: he must be talking to someone else. I’m young, healthy, and prepared and committed to a natural birth. I barely heard him say that the only cure for me was delivery. That I would not be leaving the hospital until I had the baby.
- dimathiel likes this
- dimathiel said: So much going on in this description from “We Are Fundamentalists”: “They might laugh and make broken jokes in English with all those bright and faceless volunteers, but inside they were always wondering what the next dance step must be.”
- invisibleforeigner posted this