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Justin Lowe on growing up.

[from Chapter 9]

…No chance of working in Boston again. That was okay. Moving on was a way of life for him. The child of parents in the Foreign Service, he spent his grade school years in places ranging from first-rate cities like Helsinki and Berlin to the second world of Russian-occupied Estonia and Kiev, all the way down the totem pole to New Delhi and, worst of all, an eighteen-month stint in Ouagadougou. That one was the worst. That one had broken the family.

His mother couldn’t take it anymore. They had spent their days cowering in their three-room, all-tile apartment in a four-story high rise that constituted Burkina Faso’s tallest building. Between the cockroaches visiting at night and the piles of water buffalo shit peppering the city streets, there was no room for civilization. No weekends spent at an indoor mall, no evenings watching first-run movies in air-conditioned theaters. Just sweating his nuts off, trying to hurry past hanging pig faces at the local market without vomiting. His mom broke down and demanded out – out of the country and out of the marriage.