Wednesday was a bad day. The only way I can say it here is... WEDNESDAY WAS A BAD DAY AT WORK. We rushed home in ridiculous traffic to meet the dryer repair guy, who made it to our house before we did. Whoops.
Since I spent the entire car ride home complaining about my HORRIBLE DAY, I walked in the front door and began my other form of decompressing: cooking dinner. I started putzing and chopping onion, whirred up some rosemary bread crumbs in my handy food processor, generally got my inner Ina flowing. Mmm. Meanwhile Dustin started to chat with the repair guy about soccer and this famous player from Repair Guy's home country, Ivory Coast. And that's when I perked up. Have you heard of Didier Drogba?
Drogba is credited with playing a vital role in bringing peace to his country. After Côte d'Ivoire qualified for the 2006 World Cup, Drogba made a desperate plea to the combatants, asking them to lay down their arms, a plea which was answered with a cease fire after five years of civil war. Drogba later helped move an African Cup of Nations qualifier to the rebel stronghold of Bouake; a move that helped confirm the peace process. In September 2011, Drogba joined the Truth, Reconciliation and Dialogue Commission as a representative to help return peace to his home nation. His involvement in the peace process lead to Drogba being named as one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine for 2010.
I'm sorry, but I generally don't buy the athletes as heroes spiel. But this soccer player literally SAVED LIVES. And he's one of the reasons that I believe in soccer as a global institution. It has value beyond basic entertainment. It's unifying on a level no other sport is. Sorry, hockey fans. Sorry.
Anyway, we chatted about Didier, and then Repair Guy, whose name we learned is Konate, started asking me about Rachael Ray. Hello Konate, let's be best friends. You have built a legitimate business as an immigrant, you speak six languages (French, English, Arabic and three tribal dialects), you like Didier Drogba, AND you want to talk to me about the Food Network?
Konate stayed for two hours, much longer than it took to fix our dryer, telling us all about his tribal initiation into manhood at 13 (running through the jungle while the older men make fake hyena calls trying to scare you), marrying his wife (who was chosen for him by his uncle), and raising his three kids in the United States (he believes that his kids owe their whole futures to their teachers, so they better not screw around in class).
Then he shook our hands, congratulated us on this upcoming baby, and dashed down our driveway into the pouring rain. I looked at Dustin and giggled, and I realized my world is still cracking open wider than my bad days.