Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Watering Hole

Today is a day to venture to a new spot along the Bondabon river.  In order to get there, we bramble through the village in an up-down, zigzag fashion. We walk along what i would call 'goat tracks' and cut through basically everyones' yard/outdoor living space/outdoor kitchen en route.  I would feel awkward doing this on my own - having to explain myself to so many families - but as I'm walking with a local, I can just wave and pass on through without complications.  Its pretty interesting getting this cross-section of the village.  I'm sure it's quite startling to randomly see a white lady walk through your yard and then keep walking, almost like an apparition.  Maybe I will become fodder for the evening's story tonight ! ha
I only wish i could take more pictures, I mean I could,  but i dont want to interrupt the flow of the day.  Usually when I ask to take people's photo here, they stop whatever was interesting that they were doing (that I wanted to take a picture of) and line up!  So much for a candid shot!  So i just let everyone be and take the scene in and let it all be recorded to memory to relate in as much truth as possible later : )
     So, we pass through shaded dirt courtyards; past thatch cooking huts; groups of women pounding grain; kids beating the freshly harvested rice stalks; families sitting around eating and chatting; women stirring pots big pots, cooking on the charcoal fires; men preparing tea etc etc
We cross over the RR tracks, cross a creak, hike up hills and down hills, jump over trash piles......this simple outing has turned out to be quite the trek - but so worth it.
We finally get to the river, and I am hot , sweaty and ready to jump in.
This spot here is the last rapids area before the river dumps into the sea.  The river is open here and very scenic, fringed by palm and other greenery and is boardered by big rock slabs.
We are not the only ones who've come to this spot however, there's a big group of women doing their washing with their hoards of little kids playing around (luckily they're on the other side of the river);  a fisherman is working on bundling piles of branches also on the other side of the river, but further down (hes also wearing only a pair of tiny red briefs); a few boys in late teens are gathering to practice their hiphop moves on the big smooth rock surfaces, in the breeze - they even do some head-spinning! (I'm pretty impressed); another group of boys sits in the shadows under some bushes, I'm guessing their smoking but not close enough to see or smell what;  the big palm trees opposite are laden with dozens and dozens of birds nests, it looks like Christmas ornaments (!) - along with the accompanying chirping-chattering raucous; and then there's this lone white lady, no one can ever figure out what she's doing or how she got here : )  Yes, I am these villagers entertainment as much as they are mine.
But, despite all these watching eyes, I strip down to my suit and thoroughly enjoy the waters coolness. Im glad to be welcome at the village's secret afternoon get-away.

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