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Our Uruguayan friends came to study in US, were our neighbors for four years and recently returned to their country. They   saw this movie and insisted that I should see it too.  It is a video with  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s presentation at TED.

She is sharing her stories but manages, as good tellers do,  to tell the stories of many people. Among them, she is telling of  the lessons learned while being an international student in US, where “international” is mostly developing countries and where “learning” is not limited to what is thought in classes.

I’ve been living for some years now in the international community of Orchard Downs in Champaign-Urbana campus in US and her stories resonated so much with me. It is true that we, as outsiders, are often expected to fit the  given stereotype but is nonetheless true that we bring here our own single story version of the others. In time though, we get to share and live new stories together and the one story becomes many stories and many friends. As a proof for this I have my dear friends, who are getting ready for summer in Montevideo but long for the colorful fall of Illinois, that think of their Romanian friend when they hear Chimamanda Adichie speak.

There is  something else that, I suspect will get sooner or later into  Adichie’s work (if is not there already). Once you know multiple stories and connect in a meaningful way with the other … you cannot accept one story versions anymore. The hard part though is that people around you will continue to be happy with what they know: the single true story.

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