Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Excerpts from A walk thru the Village

In order to get to know a place, the people, the rhythms its best to make yourself a part of it.  I set out and take a walk through town and see what catches my eyes, ears and imagination.
Freshly dried laundry dries in the sun, flayed out all along the paved road, on trees and over bushes.  I've never quite understood the principle behind washing clothes and then laying them on the dirty street, but I don't care to stop and have a long conversation about why the street is 'dirty' to villagers who would clearly look at me strangely and continue washing and drying as they please. 
Five women in pagna's and headscarfs are across the road, taking turns with long wooden chest-high pestles, pounding the corn into the wooden mortar.  Once beaten into a fine grind, sour un-pasteurized milk will be poured over it - this is a staple of the Fula diet (and yes, Fulani people do love it!).
A woman walks down the road with a large bundle of sticks wrapped up in her headwrap - for easier traveling.  A group of young, tattily dressed kids sits under a mango tree, like a scene from the 'lost boys.'  Young men sit and converse under a thatch hangar smoking and killing time, dutifully doing their part to look cool and help the cigarette makers turn a profit in Africa. 
The afternoon mosque call blends in with the rest of the noises in the distance, but not everyone goes to pray.
The sun is beating down and with each step I'm sweating.  I feel somewhat a part of this village scene with each hello as I pass by, yet somewhat apart in knowing that I'm walking through these people's everyday, their life, their culture, and I'm here only temporarily.  Having lived in so many places, I have a unique view of the world, and for the most part, the people in this village only have one.  Its best not to compare but just be present, and I'm thankful for being here and now albeit on this hot village street of drying clothes.  If I cant see how everything falls into this moment then i have learned nothing.  To be alive in the simplest of moments is a blessings, and I soak my surroundings in like the sun.

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