Reub's journey

22 August 2009

The trip and some cheese

trip (trip) n. 1. A short journey; excursion, jaunt. 2. A misstep or stumble occasioned by losing the balance or striking the foot against an object. 3. An active nimble step or movement. 4. The number of fish caught in an excursion. 5. A single tack to windward. 6. Mech. A pawl or similar device that trips, or the action of such a device. 7. A sudden catch, especially of the legs or feet, as of a wrestler. 8. A blunder, mistake. 9. Slang a The hallucinations and other sensations experienced by a person taking a psychedelic drug. b Any intense, usually personal experience. See synonyms under JOURNEY

The trip. We talked about it for over a year. We read and re-read what she wrote about NIger, and then we read some more. We looked at her pictures. We remembered our own Peace Corps experience, a transforming thing that happened decades ago. We were in shape for this.

The day before we left we spoke on the phone and she said, "
You're flying Air you think maybe you could save those little triangles of cheese that they serve with every meal? that I could have some?" That was my first clue, the one that whispered to me, Kerry you're going to have trouble answering those bright little questions when you go back to work in September: how was your trip? did you have a good time in Africa? So I went to the store, bought a 2 pound loaf of aged cheddar, stuck it in the freezer, and packed it in my bag when we left the next day.

When we arrived in Niamey it was still cold. We unpacked, and it was the first thing she asked for.


  1. Our daughter did a semester in Florence. The one thing she asked for was some mac and cheese. With all the wonderful food there, she missed cheddar. We sent her a mailing tube full of mac and cheese.

    Know it is not the same thing by far. But your story reminded me of that.

    Tell us more.

  2. Cheese. Not much better!
    Edward would agree.


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