We’ve met and …

This has been an expensive trip to find out that Achraf’s English is pretty limited. He’s a smart young man from the country-side of Algeria. He’s had small town success as a Tae Keon Do champion and now instructor. He is a player in the TKD world of rural Algeria.
But he is broken by failures. Failures at going to Chicago for a tournament; failure at going to Olympics in Rio; failed at getting scholarship to Korea; failure of getting security job.
Above all he feels trapped at being gay in a family and religion that rejects homosexuals.
I wonder if he feels guilty that he could not protect his mother from the abuse of his alcoholic father?
Even though he has two black belts and is a confident TKD practioner, he is a broken sad boy.
He wants so much to spend the rest of his life with me. We both know, that is not to be. On Saturday I return to Phoenix; he returns to Sigus. And that will be that.
I asked him what I meant to him. He blurted out “I feel free.” He has done the same for me. I have walked, clambered among ruins, romped in bed without regard to age or illness. These ten days have been a remarkable tonic for body and soul.
However, it wil be good to get back to my own bed and to be with people whose first language is English.
And who wash their cars.


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