Archive - July 5, 2009

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Innocence Melts Obstinacy

Innocence Melts Obstinacy

The 1997 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. • Innocence Melts Obstinacy by Leita Kaldi (Senegal 1993–96) IN THE MARKETPLACE OF DAKAR, Senegal, amid the welter of vegetables, chickens, dried fish and shouting women, a small boy leans against a crumbling wall staring into space. His bare toes knead the sand; the rags he wears flop around his skinny frame. A gang of older boys push and shove their way past him, turning to jeer. The boy leaps into a ninja position, hands like scissors, knees bent on rigid legs. He must have studied the nearby movie poster where a ninja film had been showing. His eyes are fierce and belong to the world of warriors. The older boys laugh and walk on as the child glares after them balefully. His . . .

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