Several months before our departure from Togo, my parents told my siblings and me that we would be moving to America. I was five years old and had not heard much about America before that point. In fact, my only reference was the green dollar notes my father earned from freelance interpreter jobs at the United Nations. They were quite the departure from the colorful Togolese francs I had grown to trust as valuable.
I studied the green-tinted old white man on the front, and the green pyramids on the back. I concluded that America would be a green place. Not green in the figurative American dream sense - I literally assumed that the sky, buildings, people, and clothes would appear as if viewed behind a green filter. It turns out, (as in the case where I believed the world was flat); I came to some radical conclusions about the world in my early years. These days, as I explore concepts of value, my paper coins bring to remembrance, my earliest understandings of worth.