I have finally figured out a way to describe the reaction of Zambian children to us when we visit their compounds---clowns.
It’s so hard for me to understand their reaction because in America, we have all different sorts of people who wear funny things, are tall or short, have different skin colors, and speak different languages. There is nothing to compare it to in our terms. It would take a jolly green giant walking down my street with purple hair to get this type of reaction, or maybe a pack of aliens from mars.
But I think that seeing ourselves as circus clowns does it justice.
People stare, as we would stare if a clown in full costume were walking down our street.
Some children cry.
Some children run to you.
Some reach out to you, but if you reach back and show that you are real, they scream.
Every child is either left giggling, or crying when you are gone.
Yep, we’re all clowns here.