So I told my mom my problem. In Africa, I’ll need to wear skirts past the knee (as is culturally appropriate) and these skirts that I used to wear all the time during my intense urban agriculture days would be perfect. Colorful. Comfortable. Light for packing (considering I get to bring 100 pounds of stuff total). Flexible enough to dress up for community meetings or official business in Kampala. Easy to hand-wash in a bucket, line dry, and iron (solar-powered) to remove mango fly eggs so they don’t hatch into maggots parasitically under my skin.
However, they are wrap skirts and I’ll be Traveling at the Speed of Bike as transportation from village to village, farm to farm. The goal is not to flash everyone on the Equator (even though the bike shorts are definitely coming).
My mother listened silently and then answered with one word of wisdom.
“Snaps,” she said simply.
That would work.
We both knew it instantly.
And so, one day in the new year, perhaps on a rainy morning at her new senior living facility here in a region of the United States that is not originally either of our homes, my 83-year-old mother and I will pull out the skirts and add snaps down the sides.
We will stitch together a new future (there is no skirting that issue).
And it will all, somehow, snap more clearly into focus.
If interested, see how my mom helped me out when I was trying to decide what to wear when meeting with author Gay Talese.
My Peace Corps series of posts to date:
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