Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

Bits and Pieces


My dad pointed out that Lesley Gore recently passed away. “She sang “You Don’t Own Me,” one of the great feminist songs and one of my favorite all time songs.” It’s nice to be part of a family full of feminists.


I just started reading We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo. It’s fantastic.  So far it’s about a cool pack of kids growing up in Zimbabwe. Bulawayo is hilarious and real.

At church:

When the Mikoro woman interrupts Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro with another song, he just keeps thundering like he doesn’t even hear her.  For a moment their voices circle each other like crazy cocks, neither of them giving way; it becomes dizzying just listening until at last Prophet Revelations Bitchington Mborro says, I command the devil to shut up in the name of Jesus.  When the Mikoro lady is silenced I bring my head to my armpit and giggle because she was making like God told her she is Celine Dion.

A PERFECTLY depicted NGO gift giving interaction:

Each one of us gets a toy gun, some sweets, and something to wear; I get a t-shirt with the word google at the front, plus a red dress that is tight at the armpits.  Thank you much, I say to the pretty lady who hands me my things, to show her that I know English.  She doesn’t say anything back, like maybe I just barked.
Hawu, MotherLove! Sis Betty shouts in a silly voice like she is coaxing a stupid child.  Please come, bantu, can’t you see we’ve brought you gifts? she says.  The NGO people hold out more packages to MotherLove, and the two white women even bare their teeth like grinning dogs.  Everybody is waiting to see what MotherLove will do. She turns and strides away, head held high, the bangles on her arms jingling, the stars on her dress shining, her scent of lemon staying in the air even after she is gone.


Meet Teacher Agnes.  Her teaching took my breath away.   After her lessons, we talked.  At the very end of our debrief, I asked

Me: How long have you been teaching?
TA: This is my third year.
Me: What did you do before this?
TA: I was a housewife for 14 years.

Wow.  Can’t leave talent like that without a 1


Women who serve in the military are inspiring. Period.  (Proud to know you Megan Moakler!)  I recently came across this WaPo write up that includes FARDC’s Sgt. Madot Dagbinza’s personal photo album.  Read the whole thing here.


Happy Birthday to my big brother, Alex! I love your inventions, your ranting, your honest critiques of my work and most of all the times you incite noisy hilarity.  I feel lucky to have a brother so easy to love and be proud of.  Happy Birthday!



2 comments on “Bits and Pieces

  1. Lonnie Rich (Dad)
    March 2, 2015

    Sara, your mom, Sally, and I got started in politics as part of the women’s movement. I will never forget my first protest. in 1977, Chuck Robb, Democratic candidate for Lt. Gov. of VA and husband of Linda Johnson Robb, was speaking at the Boat Club in Alexandria, which at that time did not admit women (or black) members. About 20 of us, including Ken Labowitz, Patti Rounsevell, Susan Eakins and I believe Glenda and Chris Finch, Mollie Abraham and Marianne Fowler, showed up. We shouted repeatedly: “Chuck, does Linda know you are here? Chuck, does Linda know you are here?”

    Chuck Robb ended up giving his entire speech to us! He also ended up being a a pretty good elected official, not because of us, but because a lot of people at that time were pushing for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Though that amendment failed, the social victory was ours — because so many women started playing leadership roles for an against the ERA. Phyllis Schlafly was opposed to the ERA, but she clearly played the role of a strong woman in charge of a political movement. That really was the point — regardless of your gender, you could be what you wanted to be. And it is all OK.

    • Sara Rich
      March 2, 2015

      What a great protest story! I had no idea the boat club didn’t admit women back in the day. And I agree about Phyllis Schlafly… I can just imagine protesters at one of her rallies saying, “Do your kids and husband know you’re out here rallying!? Working toward dreams outside your home?!”

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This entry was posted on March 2, 2015 by in books, feminism, humanities, inspiration.
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