We Crossed with Humor

by

“You’re not an American,” said the Moroccan woman who invited me into her home for dinner.

“Um, yes I am?” I replied as my three classmates broke into laughter.

“But you don’t look American, like them?” she claimed, pointing at my fair-skinned friends.

At this point, I had to explain that my mother is Filipino and my father is white, that’s why I look different than the others, but that I’m just as American. I told her that’s the thing about Americans: they look a lot different than what you see on the TV.

We were blessed to have the opportunity to go to our new friend, Meryeme’s, home to dine and fellowship with her and her family. Us, a group of four AMERICAN, Christian students sitting in a living room with a Moroccan, Muslim family; it was beautiful. The conversations were hilarious and despite the language barrier we got to know each other very well. Meryeme’s dad only spoke French and Arabic, but he had his daughter translate every fact he knew about American history.

“Did you know that Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States as independent?” he said. “Did you know I’m best friends with Obama?”

We laughed. Oh, we laughed. And we were able to chat about our cultural and religious differences with level heads and open minds. We befriended a family in a way that would likely never happen at home in Seattle. We met each other in the middle and accepted our differences with smiles… and bellies full of chicken and mint tea.

We crossed with humor. We reconciled through sharing a meal together. We entangled our lives in a way that will always be honored.

The four of us with our dear friend, Meryeme, & her cousin, who graciously opened their home to us one night in Meknes.

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