-I can be a bit snobbish about books. I was an English major in
college and when people ask what I read, I tend to answer
'literature'....using air-quotations like an asshole; I try not to
be an asshole.
-While in the Peace Corps, a village woman named Tibo, but who I
called Yaaba (meaning 'grandmother' in Moore), brought a sickly
child to my house while the head of the village's health clinic was
out for a couple days. She believed me to be a doctor, despite my
constant protestations. Yaaba asked me for medicine for the child,
explaining that the child had a malady of the stomach. There was no
doubt that the child was in a bad way. Regardless of this, it had
been drilled in my head not to give out medications to villagers.
(We had been given a kit w/ thermometer, gauze and hydrogen
peroxide, tylenol etc.) 'If you start doling out articles from your
personal kit, you'll open a pandora's box and you'll get requests
and demands w/ no end. Furthermore, these supplies are for YOUR
health and well-being.' I told Tibo that I had nothing for the
child. (I rationalized this by thinking, what have I got?...Pepto
won't help- the girl clearly has some sort of parasitical
infection.) Tibo brought the child to my house for three successive
days, asking me kindly to help; I refused her each time. When the
head of the health clinic finally came back, he informed me that we
would be going to the funeral of Tibo's granddaughter the next day
and that we should go to her house to express our condolences.