Archive - November 18, 2009

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White

White

The following was the 1999 recipient of the Moritz Thomsen Peace Corps Experience Award presented by Peace Corps Writers  for the best short description of life in the Peace Corps. • White by Lynn Marshall (Mali 1997– 99) YESTERDAY, I ATTENDED MY FIRST FUNERAL. I wore white and so did the corpse. The body was wrapped in a heavy, white cloth and placed under a mango tree, surrounded by dozens of old women with missing teeth, gray hair, and skin as dry as coconut shells. The old ladies wore mismatched swatches of bright print fabric. Over a hundred people had gathered in the concession, and sat cross-legged on long, colorful rectangular mats. They paid their respects by playing cards, smoking Marlboros and drinking tea. As I toured the concession, I felt hundreds of eyes on me. Trying to convince myself that I was not out of place, I casually made . . .

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