Summer Postcards 2013
MYSTIC, Connecticut—The lights on the Charles W. Morgan glitter softly from across the Mystic River as the hulking black ship rocks in the evening light. In the distance a whistle blows, signaling that it’s time for the drawbridge to go up, and for a cluster of white sailboats to cut across into the deep blue Atlantic.
GABORONE, Botswana—There are two emotions that will forever spring to my mind whenever I recall my arrival in Gaborone, Botswana to conduct HIV/AIDS research. One is of an unbearable excitement to set foot on the African continent for the first time and embark on what promised to be a hugely transformative internship and adventure.
CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom—At the back of the dining hall of Trinity College, Cambridge (we just call it “hall,” with no article—as in, “I’m going to hall for dinner!”) there’s a raised platform. Unlike the raised part of Quincy dining hall, the tables on this platform face the rest of the tables in the dining hall at a right angle.
BOSTON—Life has been prodding me in the general direction of "adulthood" for some time now. Sometimes it even succeeds. After all, I’m already like 19—and what better assurance of adult status could I have than the knowledge that I’m only two years away from legally purchasing alcohol?
I had never thought of the language I speak being such a critical part of who I am. Kinyarwanda, however, is spoken in so limited an area that its speakers see it as a big part of their shared identity—and the foreigner who makes an effort to learn gets some respect for it.
At dinner, our conversation was regularly punctuated by cries of local supporters. Soon, however, the people at the small hole-in-the-wall diner next door erupted into cheers: the final score was 2-0. “Somos campeones, otra vez,” they chanted. “We are the champions, once again!”