Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Freh

I have become friends with a woman who immigrated to this country from west Africa over twenty years ago.  I'm not even sure where to start in writing about her because she's such a huge personality.  One of the biggest joys of 2012 for me was becoming her "freh" (friend). 

Her oldest daughter left earlier this year for a two-year stint in the Peace Corps--Ethiopia.  She has been calling her every couple weeks but hasn't been able to reach her for the last week.  She's been nervous about this, understandably.  She's planning on visiting her there in the fall of 2013 in time for her birthday, and we've already started looking at plane tickets.

This week I remembered that someone I work with was a Peace Corps: Ethiopia volunteer until last year, so I went by her office to ask if she might talk to my friend.  She went on to a Peace Corps facebook page and quickly found my friend's daughter.  There was a gorgeous picture of her standing in Ethiopia next to an elder orthodox priest.  I was so excited to tell my friend.

Today on the way to work, I told her to remind me to show her the photo, so right before she left for the day, she did.  We scurried to my computer and quickly found the photo.  The look on my friend's face made my stomach do flips.  She clapped in joy and couldn't stop smiling.  We have a brand-new printer at work, so I printed her a 8x10 color copy of the photo, which she says she's going to frame this weekend.  I could hardly say goodbye to her because she was calling all her friends to tell them about seeing her sojourning daughter.

Earlier this morning, she'd gone with me to a grocery store where she bought pineapple juice for her sore arm, and tonight when I dropped it off at her house (she took the bus home from my job) while she was at her zumba class, I felt so grateful for the ease of our friendship.  I am lucky.

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