"La Blanche" rings like a bell through the neighborhood when I walk home from church every evening. I'm there so often, I've lost track. "White (woman)! White (woman)!" - my name among the unknown, the children who play in the dirt courtyards along the way home. When confronted with this my teammate, Hannah, told me she rattles off something like "....what!? I'm white!? It wasnt like that this morning, what happened?! It must have come off in the shower!" They giggle, or at least those who can understand our 'wonk-a-do' French.
But even this little woman tires of her appelle, "Mon nom n'est pas 'La Blanche,'" I reply, concealing a wee bit of irritation. "Je suis Shasta!" "Sahs-tah, Sahs-tah," they shout, wondering who on earth has a name like that! "Sahs-tah, Sahs-tah!" and I melt. It's my name! It's my name in Africa! They come for my hands.
(shout out to the little dude with the green jersey who actually can pronounce it right ;) )