Friday, January 9, 2009

A Typical Friday Night...

I've been slumming in my pajamas all day while working on a presentation I will give on Sunday. It has been fun to review video footage of life in Zambia and I was particularly caught off guard as I watched little old mamas make charcoal outside a shanty compound near my house. It has been months since I had seen these women and to be honest I had forgotten about them. Most of them are widows in their seventies who use the bark dumped by a local wood mill to make chunks of charcoal to sell in the market. I have to remind myself over and over again, "Work on the presentation Carmen" because I find myself enrapt in the material.

I went to the grocery store tonight and it dawned on me around 74th and Park Avenue that I was still wearing my sweats and tennis shoes and only looked slightly more put together because of a matching scarf and hat. I literally started laughing as I absorbed the world around me-- handsome men in wool suits and women in mink. I am such an NYC fraud... at times anyway. Actually, I love that people don't seem to be bothered about this one way or another. As I walked I came up with a story to tell if I was cued by a random pedestrian. "Why is a 30 year old single woman, barely showered, on her way to the grocery store in her sweats on a Friday night? Glad you asked. I am very important and cannot even spare a Friday night away from my important work." Erh... no one is going to buy this. :-)

I uploaded a video clip to Youtube... some images from a day in the life of Carmen in Zambia, but my stupid Mac is pretending like links don't exist. So, if you want to watch it, copy and paste people. Sorry!


Tonyalynne said...

i adore this...beautifully humbling to a fat cat in the PNW...

thank you.

Katherine said...

Hi Carmen,

I have to let you in on one of the great secrets of being 30 - If someone finds fault with you, that is their problem. Now while I try to say this to myself regularly, I do fail to believe it every so often, but still, it is true. Best wishes on your teaching!


AP said...


I was working on revising chapter 6 of my book (a chapter devoted to Zambia)....and when i typed two words on google search engine your paper on Zambia came up. You have a great writing style on that paper. I have not had a chance to check your blog yet...but am looing forward to reading.

Cheryl Smith said...

I won't mention the amazingly creative and stylish outfits you would wear over to our house to play games and eat treats!

Don said...

Hi Carmen,
The Dad here. Carmen you write so well. Everyone loves to read your wonderfully written, interesting and warm blogs. It is fun to follow your life through them. Although, you could come back here to the PNW and visit for a while, if you would like. Your blog is a must, keep posting.

Carmen Goetschius said...

Thanks for all the comments! Cheryl-- don't you dare reveal my secrets!

And "AP" I am delighted you tracked down one of my reflection papers. I had no idea they were online (to be perfectly honest).

And dear cousin Katherine, I LOVE this notion and will try to live into because there is great wisdom in this!!

Love you all! Me