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The nuns at boarding school used to call psychologists to interview the students from the higher level to help them to make their choice of future careers.

 

I remember perfectly well of going through two days of a battery of tests and interviews. More of less one month later, the result came in the form of a tightly closed envelop. I opened mine and read what was written inside with profound curiosity. It was interesting to know what some stranger could say about me.

 

I have lost those typewritten pages in a Pacific island years ago, when we left the place in a hurry after a duty call. A couple of days after, the island was invaded and all the possessions that we left behind were forever lost.

 

I still remember parts of the psychologists document, mainly the worst parts, like the one saying that my visual memory was better than my audio memory, and that both were prone to the effects of fatigue. My space orientation wasn’t that good and they recommended a list of formative books that I never read.

 

Above all, I remember the end, when they wrote that I should pick a profession involving challenging activities, travel related or journalism. This was so important that they even underlined the last sentence: This student can’t succeed in steady jobs or activities. We recommend a profession involving changes and challenges.

 

Even though I have to admit that most of the conclusions were spot on, they failed in one aspect. The psychologist team couldn’t predict the terror of war in Mozambique and the agoraphobia that I developed for almost a decade as a consequence.

 

Nevertheless, from time to time I remember passages of those pages, like this Saturday, when unexpectedly I found myself packing to Bilene.

 

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