real friends are really hard to find

by Evans Yonson

madrid – a former becario told me that i don’t have friends in africa. oh really? this person is so judgmental. and a loser at that. too young and too ignorant of the world. i pity this person. i don’t collect acquaintances. i collect friends who will remember me for what i am and will think of me, not necessarily every moment of their lives, very fondly and with nostalgia. it’s quality, donna. not quantity.

my life in africa would have been worst if i had never the chance of meeting these people. they made life very enjoyable and memories worth keeping and remembering always. amigos para siempre. they are all foreigners. not that the pinoys are not worth keeping but they deserve another blog.

mod (thailand) – heir to the royal throne of the kingdom of africa. he’s the one person who understands my feelings and we get along very well. how do the cows of switzerland sound? maaaaaaa!!! i always had fun with mod not only in the dorm but also in all our travels outside of africa. he’s staying another year in africa. and i’m going away. mod deserves my royal presence probably once or twice a month.

beatrix (austria) – la unica austriaca que conozco. my classmate in the masters who is always full of energy. we don’t get to talk everyday but with just a smile from her makes my day so bright that it could last on weeks. the hills are so alive!!!!

Mod and Beatrix. Two of the very good friends that I have from my year in Africa.

maura (paraguay) – the queen of paraguay. a traveler of the world, too. a nature lover and one of the people who appreciates my photographs. loves to talk. listens carefully. religious. respectable.

radhouane (tunisia) – the king of tunisia. the most charitable and caring person i ever met in africa. his goodness overflows and it flows by the way he treats strangers. truly a gentleman from africa. i will visit his village someday and live a life in the desert.

awad (syria) – he understands me very well. our ages are no different but our looks say that i am a lot younger than he is. if only i could marry someone like him.

amanda (mexico) – i spoke to amanda the first time in the metro sometime in december. the next time was just 3 weeks ago. she said that we have missed so much time and we have a lot of things to catch up to. an exceptional mexican who makes sense.

That's me on the second row right. To the left is Maura (Paraguay) and directly below her is Amanda (Mexico).

consuelo (venezuela) – my best venezuelan friend. consuelo, being a jesuit-educated girl, understands my rantings very well. i wish i could be with her on her wedding day in january in venezuela.

eli (israel) – this american-educated young lady is a sunshine in the rain. never a dull moment. and i know she’ll be an outstanding stateswoman someday. highly-sociable yet so down-to-earth.

evelyn and abel (dominican republic) – the loveliest couple in the dorm. well, the only legal couple in the dorm. lawyer couple? what a bore! but with evelyn and abel, your day is always perked up by their laughter and thoughts.

there are people you meet and be acquaintances. but there are friends that you grow with not only in dinners and classes but for the rest of your life.