Archive - April 26, 2011

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Andrew Clark’s unfinished memoir, Lost and Found in West Africa, 3
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Andrew Clark's unfinished memoir, Lost and Found in West Africa, 1
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Andrew Clark's unfinished memoir, Lost and Found in West Africa, 2

Andrew Clark’s unfinished memoir, Lost and Found in West Africa, 3

This essay (# 3) is the last from Andrew Clark’s (Senegal 1978-80) unfinished memoir Lost and Found in West Africa. While there is much more in this manuscript, it would be up to the family (Michiko Clark especially) to publish it as a book. But for now, thank you, Michiko, for sharing these short pieces with us.] Birth After I had been in Bidiancoto about a month, a very special event occurred. I knew that Ruby Diallo, Mamadou Boye Sow’s only wife, was expecting their second child. No one ever talked directly about pregnancy, fearing bad luck and “evil spirits.” Nevertheless, it was obvious Ruby was expecting, and very soon. One of my friends remarked that Ruby’s stomach “wasn’t just full of millet and leaf sauce.” That was as close as anyone came to saying that Ruby was expecting. I spent a lot of time in the compound with Ruby, and in many . . .

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Andrew Clark's unfinished memoir, Lost and Found in West Africa, 1

[This essay (# 1) is from Andrew Clark’s (Senegal 1978-80) unfinished memoir Lost and Found in West Africa. His niece, Michiko Clark, was kind enough to send me the manuscript that the family found after Andrew’s death earlier this year.  This is one of three short sections that I culled from the book.  These pieces show how well Andrew understood Senegal, and it gives us all a feeling of how much he loved his host country. In the old days we would have called  him a Super Vol.] Arrival Perhaps the greatest gift that Senegal and Africa gave me was the ability, on a mere moment’s notice, to plunge right back into that world, see once again the faces, recall snatches of conversations, hear voices and laughter and cries, and relive experiences as if they had only just happened minutes before. Even in the dead of a bitter Midwestern winter, I could close my eyes . . .

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Andrew Clark's unfinished memoir, Lost and Found in West Africa, 2

[This essay is from Andrew Clark’s (Senegal 1978-80) unfinished memoir Lost and Found in West Africa. His niece, Michiko Clark, was kind enough to sent me the manuscript that the family found after Andrew’s death earlier this year.  This is one of three short sections that I culled from the book.  These pieces show how well Andrew understood Senegal, and it gives us all a feeling of how much he loved his host country. In the old days we would have called  him a Super Vol.] Assimilation, Acclimation, and Accommodation In the early days, one of the main problems with the language was figuring out the different tenses without a common language. After some perplexing experiences, I realized that Mamadou didn’t clearly understand tenses in French because he had never learned them. I was, therefore, on my own when it came to deciphering past, present, and future in Pulaar. As long as I had those . . .

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