Hey Melanie, "You and me, we're in a club together."
The day after the marathon, I was running around searching for a gift for Melanie to celebrate our Dopey accomplishment. I knew what I wanted for her, but couldn't find it anywhere. It was getting late and I had to get to Epcot to meet Melanie and her family, so I called off the search. I also had dinner plans with my friend Dylan who I hadn't seen in almost five years. Emotions were running high.
I was on the monorail headed to Epcot when a couple stepped on and sat down beside me. They were laughing and adorable and they caught my eye immediately. I could hear parts of their conversation, and while unable to make out what they were saying, I knew they weren't speaking English. I decided they were from somewhere in the Caribbean. That brought a smile to my face as I thought of my home far away. Then the wife said something I understood, and for about 10 seconds I had a conversation with myself about whether or not I should ask them where they're from. I had to. I tapped the lady on her shoulder and asked. She looked at me a little unsure and told me they were from South America. My stomach dropped and I felt tears start to form in my eyes because I just knew the answer to my next question. I smiled and asked, "but where in South America?" She said what, at that point, I knew she would say. Suriname. I told them I lived in Suriname while serving in the Peace Corps. We chatted until we arrived at Epcot.
Before we parted ways I asked them if we could take a picture together. They wanted one too. We hugged each other like old friends. I told them when they arrived back in Suriname they must tell everyone I said hello. And I said it in Saramaccan. The man smiled and said, "a bunu," and they walked away. I crumbled. I couldn't control the tears pouring from my eyes. I was overwhelmed and having one of those I-do-not-understand-reality moments. Never mind all the tiny decisions we each made throughout the day that put us in that exact location at the same time, and forget that Surinamese folks aren't just coming to America all the time, I FREAKIN SPOKE SARAMACCAN TO PEOPLE IN DISNEY WORLD AND THEY UNDERSTOOD ME BECAUSE THEY'RE FROM SURINAME! What planet is this? How is this possible? I still don't totally understand. The story in which they were figments of my imagination is honestly just as plausible, except I have a picture of the three of us so I know it was real. Once again, Suriname's impact on my life proved to be greater than my impact on her.
|Robby and Juanita|