Award for the Most Remote Reader

December 2012, 7pm

Imagine a border crossing in the middle of equatorial Africa, its night, its hot, mosquitos are everywhere. A light flickers in a small oppressive room. Omar is crossing from Nigeria to Republic of Benin, the immigration officer does not like him. He doesn’t like the way the ‘i’ is dotted, clothes are wet with perspiration and tempers begin to flare. Omar raises his voice, “Oh common man, I’ve lived here for 30 years!” The Nigerian immigration officers from Northern Nigeria, stops yelling. He is quiet. He looks at the name….Lababidi. He begins to recall a book, “There was an American woman who lived in Nigeria for 30 years…I read a book about her life…this name looks familiar…she talked about calabashes. It was a book about…about paddling a canoe.” He begins to recall stories from the book as Omar looks on in shock, then amazement. A big grin spreads across his face.  Omar says to the immigration, “that’s my mom!”

** I think this is my finest hour, my moment of fame…for an immigration officer from the North (officers change every 10 days) to have read my book, written over 10 years ago and remember the name and then for my son to reap the benefit and advert an ugly situation is so randomly amazing that I think this is the best compliment I could ever have. L.L.**

9 thoughts on “Award for the Most Remote Reader

    • I thought it was a story worth remembering, especially after being in Nigeria for the past 3 weeks. The story is important to emphasize that there are people open to diversity and read and search, no matter their status in life, no matter where they are.

    • What a lovely feeling. You are strong as well…we all have a strong sense of our responsibilities. I am very proud of you.
      Your sister, Lesley

  1. That is one of the best “small world stories” ever, Leslie! I just found this book tonight in a free book bin at a new book store here. Time to get reading.

    Brendan Keeley
    Broomfield, CO

    • Dear Brendan,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I am most grateful for you interest. Amazing that you found the book in your book store…I hope you like the story.

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