May 15th I drove Isabella and myself down to the Sudanese Center next to UWEAST to tutor. To our surprise, only one of the students was there, a girl by the name of Mapenzi. (Author’s Note: if you were wondering, yes, “Mapenzi” has a meaning in Swahili. It means “romance”, which I’m sure is deeply meaningful to Mapenzi’s parents themselves. The cool thing about that is that it probably also means “love” to them, to Mapenzi.)

Mapenzi was there for the first time I was at the Sudanese Center. At that time, Isabella was tutoring her. This time, one of the other tutors was already there helping her with her math homework. Because there were 3 of us and only one students, we decided to have me and Isabella help Mapenzi, while he would talk to one of the women running the Sudanese Center. If you thought my tutoring Fêrá the first time I was at the Sudanese Center was a mess, then you’d think this was a disaster. Isabella and I were both trying to help Mapenzi with unit conversions, and Mapenzi was probably burnt out by the time the Preuss School students showed up (more on that later). Mapenzi is whip smart, and can find the answers quickly given that she knows the method to solving a problem. While we were trying to guide her in her unit conversions, we were rushing to figure out the answers ourselves before we embarrassed ourselves.

At around 5:20, a bunch of students from the Preuss School showed up to tutor students at the Sudanese Center. Since there were no students to tutor, it was awkward. Being made of anxiety, I had to break up the silence. All of the Preuss people were seniors in high school, so I thought maybe I could connect to them by asking if they needed advice or wanted to talk about what to experience in college. The whole conversation devolved into discussions on food, how food at high school Snack Shacks were becoming more expensive, how inconvenient the whole conversation had become to them since Ramadan had just started so they were already hungry, how college was becoming more expensive, how USD area is nice until you drive right down the street, among other things. Since they’re planning on tutoring regularly, the hilarity will continue the next time I go down to the Sudanese Center (aka tomorrow). More soon.