May 4, 2014 at 3:28 pm 2 comments

I don’t know if you had the pleasure, the pure [if short-lived] ecstasy, of knowing you have saved a life. I have. A kid of about 11. Burn victim. From down South. His folks were too poor to accompany him to Addis. And my colleagues, most of them single women in their early 30s, were worried they may not have enough to spare for birthing a child. So i offered mine. “As long as I have somebody to drive me back”, I said. Got a soda out of it. Not to mention a free weight measurement, which wasn’t easy back then [there was a pharmacy near Ghion hotel with a scale; but who needs the looks].

Having your blood donation rejected can’t be called the exact opposite of that feeling. But it does come close. It makes you feel … dirty. Like you are carrying something tainted. A good Samaritan being snickered at by those he/she tried to save. That has happened to me too, 3 months after I came to america. I have still not found a job. So decided to do this. “Risk of
Malaria infection”, they said. Gotta wait for 3 years before my blood cells could be considered safe for consumption.

So when I heard how gallons of blood donated by blacks, blacks like me, was secretly dumped in Israel; I have understood the source of their pain. These were quickly followed by riots. News of violence and drug addiction being rampant among Felashas in the “Promise Land”. Of identity-loss. And Netanyahu!

I knew, then, [that] this was no run-of-the-mill fear of a malaria infection. But a race-infection. Or, to quote John Kerry, an “Apartheid”-like disease.

So.. this is for Liya [with her long hair, “ar yegemete tirs” – as Tagel would call it – and D-cup size breast – even at Junior High], to Dawit, and Tigist: My childhood friends and fellow suffers of Gash Alemayehu’s “kichina” kiray bet. “Abro Adeg”s who left Ethiopia for Israel when I was in grade 8. I remember your pride at standing out; at being separate [but unequal] from us. Was Donald Sterling telling the truth when he said you guys are being treated like mere “dogs” nowadays? If so, I guess being plain “Gondere” doesn’t sound that bad now. Huh?

[Yes. I am a mean-spirited little person].

On a serious note though…
I guess .. maybe.. that is what home is: the place you won’t have your blood donation rejected for reasons of inferiority.

Entry filed under: Latest Posts. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Loveship, Hateship Life Lessons from “The Princess Bride”

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. andthree  |  May 8, 2014 at 3:50 pm


  • 2. Mitmita  |  May 9, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    The same can be said of any one of us who thought America was the “promise land” to find out it falls short of its promises.

    With regards to your other post about home, yes.. I agree home is where home feels. But your country of birth is like your family. You don’t get to choose it, but you can’t really stay away from it for long.

    Good luck with your citizenship application.

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The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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