Last weekend I got sunburnt. And by burnt, I mean toasted – tomato red. I guess you could say I was prepping for Valentine’s Day. It was cloudy, so I escaped to the pool to enjoy a day free from the suffocating heat. To say the least, it bit me in the butt. Sometimes I forget just how strong the sun is here. And yes, even when it’s cloudy those solar rays are in full effect. Take my word for it.
When I arrived at school the next day, all my students were asking me why I changed color. Some thought it was beautiful; others thought it was plain funny. And everyone asked me a series of questions – Professor, why does Cape Verde make you change color? Why are you pink? The sun did this to you? Will your skin go back to normal? What does it feel like? And then the poking started — watching my skin change from red to white was a spectacle. I felt like a zoo animal on display, or a new species found in the wild that no one knows what to do with.
As I proceeded to explain the gruesome sunburn process, including peeling like a snake, all eyes were on me – the room was quiet, my students were intrigued. It was the one day I had their full attention. After class, they even offered me umbrellas and multiple locations to buy sunscreen.
I guess every moment is a teachable one, right?