African Charm

Some villagers brought medications with instructions in English, Russian, French or German. They could read none of these languages, so I translated them as best I could. For the Russian medicines, I would tell them that—like them—I couldn’t read these labels. Others...

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Suddenly Sundered: HIV and the Foreign Service

“How soon can you get out of Canada?” asked the administrative officer at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto in October 1995 when I was informed that my application for disability retirement—due to my advanced HIV/AIDS—had been approved. “What?” I asked. “Now that you’re...

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Addicted to Chad

Originally Published in Literal Latte Spring 2011. You can read the original here. Second Prize, 2010 Literal Latte Essay Award. When I was a child and my parents argued, my father used to escape to the basement and listen to his short-wave radio. Growing up in...

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