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Things I Need Jesus to Fix

Dear African Jesus,

I trust this letter finds you in good health. Hopefully, you are also prosperous and happy.

Jesus, my grandmama said you can fix things. She routinely called on you to fix me, my mama and even her bread pudding on those rare occasions when it didn’t turn out right. So, here I am imploring you, African Jesus, to summon up your fixing skills for me. Because I really like living in Africa. I truly do. I love (most) African people and admire (some) African customs. So, please do not mistake this request for your help as a complaint or a critique of my ancestral homeland and its current residents, but…

Bruh, there are so many things I need you to fix. For the sake of time and efficiency, I have compiled a list. I believe in valuing people’s time so I thought long and hard about what things needed to be fixed most and was able to narrow it down to only three. I thank you in advance for reading it with care and addressing my concerns in a timely fashion.

1. Please fix Souda. I know it is a great privilege to afford a housekeeper. Particularly, one as diligent and loyal as Souda. But, look…this woman is stressful sometimes. She really likes to gossip and insists on informing me of all the unseemly activities happening among everybody else living on the compound. There are some things I do not want to know. I do not want to know that the young woman who lives below me may be a prostitute. I mean, I admit I have wondered how a girl her age who is fresh out of university with no job can afford to live on this compound in this neighborhood, but how she pays her rent is really not my business, now is it. Souda seems to think it is. In her basic English, she excitedly relays stories of “Her house girl tell me, she say she saw man and he reached here at night, but did not stay” and I am left to wonder if my neighbor is just a gorgeous young woman who enjoys the pleasure of the flesh or a Rwandan version of a high class call girl. I do not want to be thinking of such things when I come home and she chats with me about how wonderful it would be to have someone write her an invitation letter to acquire an American visa. I also do not want to think about the family who lives in the other house on the compound. Souda seems to be convinced that the husband “like to be inside too many women too much.” When I talk to this man’s 6 year old son about his swimming lessons and asks his wife to give me a ride to work during rainy season, I do not want to wonder if he really is a whore and if this is why his wife always seems to look anxious when I casually mention that her husband was kind enough to give me a ride back home when I saw him in town Sunday.

2. These damn dogs got to go. When I first moved here, Jesus, there were only two dogs. I woke up one morning and there was a puppy yelping outside my door and following me down the hill that leads to the gate. I tried to get the story of the puppy from Freudy, the gate guard. But, we have not yet developed a series of hand gestures and incomplete, largely incoherent sentences in Kinyarwanda and English to have this particular conversation. All I know is this new damn dog allowed these other two dogs to influence his behavior immediately. He, too, now jumps on me and paws around my feet whenever I enter or leave the compound. I really need this ritual to end. I want only one dog on the compound. Actually, I don’t like any of these dogs. They have no home training.

3. I just want peace, Jesus. Peace. I am aware of the conflicts in The Congo. And Burundi..goodlawdinheaven…Burundi…is it still on fire? I openly admit that with the instability in the region it is pretty damn ballsy for me to ask you to fix the drama on this compound. Whoring Husband apparently wants to fire Freudy because “him know too much.” Souda says while some of us were traveling this summer, Whoring Husband took full advantage of Anxious Wife and Cute Son being away. “Many women come to the house. Freudy see them. Now, he want to cancel Freudy.” According to Souda, now that all of us on the compound have returned from our summer vacations, the husband is going to meet with us and lobby for why we need to have a new gate guard. The (possible) prostitute has apparently abandoned her baby. I am not sure where she is, but when I left six weeks ago the baby and the house girl were the only ones in her house. And the last several days, I have heard the screeching baby (who no doubt is so unruly because I am told babies, in general, need their mothers) at all hours of the day and night. The only other voice I hear is that of the house girl speaking softly to her most times. Whoring Husband is Rwandan so I think he is trying to locate (possible) prostitute’s parents to ask them in their language to come get their grandbaby. But, if Souda’s stories about him are true, then he already has a full schedule of extramarital affairs to occupy his non-work hours so who will come get this screeching baby?

4.I know I said there would only be three pressing issues on this list, but the dogs just broke the pump on the water tank and I need to take a shower.

Where you at, African Jesus?




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