First of all, a big thank you to everyone for such kind well wishes regarding Momo and my engagement. We’ll be so thrilled to have as many of you as possible at our transcontinental wedding celebrations. Many of you have asked about the logistics of an American living in London getting married to a Senegalese. Well, before we work that all out, I want to address some societal challenges I’m facing. Possibly some of you will resonate with these so I’ll share:
You know how some couples are hesitant to get pregnant because they don’t want to bring an innocent child into this cruel world? While Momo is a but younger than me, he’s no baby and innocent doesn’t exactly capture his state of mind as he’s seen things that have wisened him well beyond his years I can assure you. It’s just that he’s never travelled far beyond his home’s borders, he’s aware of Facebook but doesn’t care for it, he only got a smart phone so we could stay in touch via whatsapp, he doesn’t watch movies or tv except football and Senegalese wrestling and his favourite movie, Akeelah and the Bee; he’s kind, curious, and most vulnerable of all, he’s hopeful. Do I really want to expose him to a world of homelessness and greed? A place where people keep dogs as pets and children on leashes? A place where people with plenty of means choose to walk around barefoot yet poor people can’t even access whole, unprocessed foods nor traditional medicines because they are so out of reach that only the wealthy can afford them? Momo loves his mom more than anything; how will he feel to see our elders stored away with strangers caring for them for money, let alone our disrespect for the generations older than ourselves. Or what about my own world, hours and loads of cash spent on artificially created physical challenges just so I can look and feel better because my job (at least while I am not in Africa) requires that I sit indoors in a chair (or on a Swissball!) staring at a computer screen all day? Let alone the lengths we go to to amuse and entertain ourselves with violent and over the top movies that cost so much money and resources all of his home town in Senegal could be sustained for generations to come? I know it’s his decision and sheltering people from the reality of living in the West is impossible let alone unhelpful but still, it makes me think. Then again, maybe if there were more people like Momo in our screwed up world, he and they could be catalysts for change and not be so complacent like those of us who know nothing but this life.
So on that uncharacteristically happy and hopeful note, allow me to leave you with an open invitation to our wedding, wherever and whenever that may be. In fact, we would like to become a wedding near you – marry the same many three times on three continents – though as I mentioned above nothing is set yet so stay tuned and we’ll certainly make another big splash when the time comes.