Her name is Gogo and she is from Togo. Listening to Youssou N’Dour she explains that although he is a pop star, Youssou assumes the role of a Griot or praise singer. The traditional spiritual leaders in West Africa sing in his manner. Gogo says she feels transported to her youth in Togo.
Jacky insists that I try a tomme Vaudoise grillée. The cheese is grilled until its rind is slightly charred, sprinkled with white pepper and then served on a bun. It is a more literal form of cheese burger.
Hans tells me I must speak to the conference on the state of refugees in Canada. I am mortified. I have barely started my job at the Centre for Refugee Studies. I am woefully unqualified for this responsibility. I ask Laurie to draw on her much greater knowledge and experience and fill in for me. Hans is furious with me when he sees Laurie step to the podium. “There are political dynamics at play about which you have no idea.”