But do I love Chris? Not really. And yet he represents that which I want in a man. He’s polite and caring. He treats me nicely. He’s just admirable. And surely he’s not to blame for his uncle’s cruelty. I can’t deny I’m distressed by the circumstances at the hotel but I can’t fault Chris. I don’t expect him to fight my battles but being his wife he will have no option. There are two ways to approach the situation. As his wife, I can manipulate Chris to change the situation himself, or I can instigate a rebellion of the hotel workers and the community in general, that’s against what’s happening at the hotel. I can even use both approaches. I know for sure that I can’t fight capitalism. All I can do is help in this one battle and hope I’ll be strong enough when the rebellion begins.

From this day of the party, things begin changing. I watch as Goiboni submissively does his duties and I feel aggrieved. Every time I meet Chris I put on a plastic smile. The story goes round very fast that I’m soon going to be Chris’ wife. Chris’s friends are over the moon. I can’t believe this. His uncle is exceedingly happy. I don’t understand any of this. The way they’ve begun treating me is like I’m one of them. It’s mystifying so to speak. I’m wondering if there could be something I missed. Have I sold out already? Maybe there is a veiled obstacle that entirely vanishes with the right combination of certain fundamentals. And if such an obstacle exists, it’s evident only a few people who manage to break it. Yet it’s apparent I’ve broken it. But how did I do it? Is it possible to infiltrate something you’re not even aware of? Or is it because I’m a Mzungu woman (White woman)? I know here possibly lays the answer. This is definitely a confusing observable fact. A skin colour breaking invisible barriers. It would also mean your skin colour can also create invisible barriers for you. “We’ll get married in one month’s time. I want you to meet my parents,” Chris says happily and my mouth gets dry. I can only nod my consent. A week later we head out to his home.

I hear the ululations even before I step out of the car. It’s his mother who is leading the women in singing and dancing. Soon the women form a ring around us and I can tell Chris is uncomfortable but his uncle is basking in the attention. His mother saves the situation by seizing me and taking me away to go sit in a house with the other young women. Surprisingly, Lela is there. She hugs me and her friends start bombarding me with questions. How did I manage to get Chris? It is only because you’re a Mzungu? Everyone is talking excitedly and I find out that Chris’s uncle met the cost of virtually everything. I feel the walls closing in on me. I came here to live a poverty experience, away from civilization, but it’s like some invisible forces are pulling me back to civilization. Three weeks later, Chris and I get married.

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