Yesterday my friend Ansley texted me to remind me of a New Years Eve years back when we did not see fireworks or clink glasses like bells. Sometime before midnight, in the shady OR of Bere Adventist Hospital, she and a doctor who we will call Bond because he called himself Bond--a strange and often mean man, brought a baby into the light, lifting him from his mother's womb. When the surgery was done, the child and mother settled onto one of the hospital's stinking plastic mattresses, Ansley and Bond and the rest of us young American volunteers drank hot milk and then hugged when Bond told us to, a thing as strange as the milk, and as the disco ball that he packed in from America, and as the way he used the local dialect's word for "porridge" to mean whatever he wanted it to--most often a curse word--saying the surgery was so banda, the people of Chad were so banda, the walk to the market was so banda--everything so, so banda!!! which meant porridge, but he didn't care if things already belonged somewhere, or already meant something true--everything was his if he wanted it--like the name Bond for example, which was not his name and yet, was the one he commanded he be called. What a strange New Years that was.