In the sumer of 2008, As part of an exchange program to Costa Rica, myself along with several students were invited to an orphanage. We were suppose to help paint and read to the kids. It was a beautiful and warm day so I decided to leave my prosthetic leg at my host family’s house. We arrived at the orphanage and were greeted by the staff and the children. I was assigned to reading and that’s when this little blond boy took an interest in me. Living in the mountain these children were not used to seeing black people and out of our group I was the darkest among four black people.
The child approached me and climbed on my lap. I wasn’t much of a child friendly person back then so I was unsure whether I should pet him or not. As I touched his head, he turned aound, held my face and licked the side of my face from jaw to temple then proceeded to shout in spanish. I had saliva on my face but was more interested in what he was shouting so I turned to one of the caregivers who spoke english and asked her, “what did he say?”. She blushed and replied with a heavy spanish accent “ He say you no taste like chocolate.”
This is always one of my go to stories whenever someone asks how is it traveling while black. In some parts of the world you will for sure encounter racism but in other parts it is pure curiosity/ignorance. In the case of a 5 year old thinking a brown person would taste like chocolate I’ d file this under intelligence.
If you’d like to hear my story on being licked by and old man in Florence, Italy, well you’ll have to stick around.