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Friday, April 2, 2010

To ingratiate

Ingratiate is a good word.

Ingratiate –verb.
to establish (oneself) in the favor or good graces of others, esp. by deliberate effort.

Om is from Bhutan but he grew up as a refugee in Nepal, he and his family are now refugees in this country. Anday is a refugee from Ethiopia, he pronounces it Utopia. Anday's family is still in Ethopia along with his 3 dogs and a cat. The scars on his cheek bones look like they were made by the flick of a razor blade. They are both 21 years old.

21 year old men trying to get paid, documentation, friends, security, status, girlfriends, etc. in a foreign country. Not just any foreign country but the United States of America, not just any State in the United States but Colorado, not just anywhere in Colorado but Denver.

Some how, some way, these two cats ended up working on Hazel Rah Farm. What are the chances?

5,000,000,000,000 to 2.

They stepped to the farm for their first day of work looking sharp, too sharp for farm work. Their shoes were the first thing I noticed, clean, low top, stylish. The shoes were not going to look so good in the evening.

Anday greeted our big dog Tommy with a pat on the head. Om shrank back. I don’t like big dogs, he said.

They handled the large shovels awkwardly and exchanged them for the spade and Henry’s little shovel. Farming tools are different in Nepal, Om informed me.

They worked that first brisk morning turning the soil in the beds. A little shoveling, a little looking around, a little shoveling, a little looking around, taking it all in, the dogs, the chickens, the kids, me, Michelle, the land. Everything.

With fresh eggs from the hens Michelle prepared quiche for lunch with some mixed vegetables and potato chips on the side.

With great deftness and efficency I tore into my lunch consuming it much too fast.

Anday and Om struggled to control their knife and fork as they cut each bite awkwardly from their slice of quiche. Like the large shovels, silverware is a foreign tool in their hands.

Michelle’s heart swelled as she observed Om applying his utensils to a potato chip.

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