I think humans are just really hard to anticipate.
In how human they are, I mean. I guess.
The school where I’m working this year has a really big Cape Verdean population. I get to hear stories about a different culture, a beloved and romanticized world where half their relatives still live.
They say it’s all about family there. They say people are more happy and more active and everyone lives outside. After dinner they all go down to the preguica, like a square, I suppose, and everybody hangs out. They say everyone on the island knows everyone else.
They say it’s tropical, you know, a country made up of like a hundred islands. They say that people in Cape Verde think America is just work and pay bills all the time. That even though they don’t have much there, they don’t want it, either.
They say they want to go back. Someday, if they can.
It’s a longing and an identity I’ve never had.
I find myself moved at unexpected moments.
It’s hard to know what to bring, but due diligence seems like a good first step. It’s hard to know when you have understood someone.
For instance, I have looked up preguica, on its own and in connection with Cape Verde. It seems to be a type of or name for a sloth, or an obscure subdivision of a particular city, or else a small town. It doesn’t appear to be Creole for any sort of town gathering place.
I have more learning to do. I have a question to ask.
It’s a human enough thing to offer.