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Wednesday, February 06, 2008Fun In The Desert
Years ago my senior class took a week long trip to Virginia. Unfortunately we picked a crappy time to do it. The weather was horrible making it impossible to enjoy all of the planned out door activities. However kids being kids we found stuff to do keep us busy aka driving our chaperones crazy. One day our coach over heard a couple of the kids complaining about the trip. I was coming down the hallway bouncing a ball on my racket when the coach approached me and asked if I was having a good time on the trip. When I nodded my head my coach sighed patted my arm and affectionately said,“Mia you would have fun in the desert.”
A couple of days ago someone else made the very same remark about me only they didn’t say it with the same warmth my old high school coach had. The remark took me back to time I had spent in the Sahara and Sinai deserts.
I remembered racing through the desert at top speed on the back of a dune buggy while holding on tightly to my cousin. The look of sheer horror on my uncle’s face when we hit a bump and I nearly flew off the buggy. I remembered meeting a tribe of Berbers and their curiosity about me. When someone from our group mentioned to them that my mother was of Berber descent they welcomed me into the camp as if I were long lost family. I remembered the Berber women and children lining up to shyly inspect my tattoos and piercings. I remembered the women fluttering around me fixing my hair applying kohl eye liner to my eyes and wrapping my head in a head scarf to protect me from the sun. I remembered them embracing me tightly when it was time for me to leave and piling gifts on me. I remembered having dinner by the camp fire under the stars and then later on laying in the sand star gazing. I remembered staring out over the desert and getting goose bumps when I contemplated all of the history that had taken place there. My memories of the desert were all good memories.
Eventhough the remark had been meant as an insult I laughed in the person’s face and said,“You know what I’ve actually done that.” “Done what?” she asked.“Had fun in the desert.” I replied. The look on her face was price less.
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