…lychees appear at the market!
My students often ask me if I have met any of “the stars” in America, meaning of course, celebrities. Coming from Indiana, I have to disappoint them with an honest “no” every time. (I could lie and become an instant hero, but it’s time they learn that America is bigger than New York and Hollywood.) However, today as I was navigating the stalls at the Saturday market, eyeing each vendor’s pile of lychees to find the reddest, ripest ones, I bumped into a “celebrity” of sorts: the Slam Poetry Champion of India. No joke.
The night before, I was one of maybe two dozen people on the whole island who knew about the Slam Poetry Championships of the Indian Ocean and thought it might be worth checking out. In short, it was AWESOME. The best slam poets from twelve countries around the Indian Ocean (Madagascar, Mayotte, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, India, Singapore, Australia, the Seychelles, and of course, Reunion Island) convened in Saint-Pierre with original poetry in their native languages. Pretty cool. The Champion of India did not go on to win the title of Best Slam Poet in the Indian Ocean (the Australian and Reunionese tied for first), but she rocked, and I recognized her immediately in the hustle and bustle of the outdoor market.
OK she’s definitely not a celebrity, but you’ve gotta start somewhere.