A Poem for Daniella: A counterpart remembers her time working with her Peace Corps Volunteer


Wonder is a mysterious thing, especially if
it’s the definition of one person. Power locked in like dynamite. She’s also a small package. They say she was delivered here by the Peace
Corps program. Striding confidently in the corridors in her
german print cotour. Syllables proceed from her mouth like a perfectly
conducted symphony. Montemerano. I catch a sprinkle of her last name as it
proceeds from her mouth like butter. The village has been buzzing about her since
her arrival. I don’t know how she managed to ambush the
poor, the sick, and the lost. She’s bursting at the seams with love and
energy. Rounding up the troops and making a party
of affection. There’s adventure in her eyes and a boldness
in her compassion. She’s full of promise. Here in the boardroom, she introduces herself
again. Montemerano is my name. This time I cannot escape her charm. In conversation, I whisper my fragile past
and present into her palm. My life suddenly changes into a routine of
movie nights, exchanging books, and dinner. Mmmm, shrimp. My favorite, coupled with delicious jolof rice. America fell in love with West Africa and
borrowed Botswana their assorted product. Laughed at rampant as we analyzed the first
and second episodes of the Girls series. Culture shock is welcome at this time. A revelation to break down the walls of perception. A friendship is formed between me, her, and
Kiara the cat. Daniella has stubborn faith in everyone. A handpicked number of her friends form her
closest collage. All diverse, extravagant, and humble. She sees potential in me that I cannot trust. She pours me a cup of ambition. I am trained to dream again and to power my
confession. On the corridors, her shine travels like a
ray of light leaving her legacy wide open, raising servants to leaders. Here and now, the forgotten take center stage. She writes affirming words on her fridge magnets
and on her mirrors to reaffirm who she is in ambition and character. Her personality is laughter and her culture
is the wind. Her home is here in Africa and we miss her
now. The dusty roads of Maun sing her name like
lullabies. From the thrill of the untamed nature in the
Savuti to the glowing sunset of the Tsodilo Hills, Hills, the land remembers Daniella Montemarano. That’s how I remember her now. Her animated features and her fast paced steps. Her authentic realism. A will to learn to do and to undo oneself. But in hope and in kindness, we will remain
here in blue, black, and white to build and advocate still for everything she pioneered.

3 thoughts on “A Poem for Daniella: A counterpart remembers her time working with her Peace Corps Volunteer

  1. This is very beautiful, you have honored this woman greatly and I know that she has made a huge impact in your life and vice versa. great work Juby…

  2. wow!!! beautiful.. we love you sooo much Daniella. Mpho ya rona batho

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