like the way the wind moves over the rice fields and the shimmer of
the black and the green and the warm mud oozing between barefoot toes.
like the way the moon is brighter here. more luminous, milky,
ferocious. like the way the shadows move and the drums beat low in
your eardrums and how your headlamp illuminates a flash of pig and a
stalk of corn or the white eyes of strolling lovers. like the way the
mango leaves are dark and cut circles around the brightest stars i have
like the way the children dance. beneath the tiger moon. the way they
love reggae and we have mini raves on the woven mats after the work is
done. how we blink my light and wave it and dip and flash flash and
noodle arms and pounding feet and chanting "stop, can you hear the
sound...a little bit of riddim makes the world go round." (Michael
Franti and Spearhead - they LOVE it)
like the way they fall asleep on the mats. one by one, the littlest
first and then like falling dominoes, they all curl up and sleep until
we drag them inside. like the way there are 2 grandmere's and they tell
stories in the night and fan themselves topless under the naked moon.
and how we drinking steaming tea by moonscape and add heaping powdery
spoons of milk powder and how i have never tasted anything better in my
like riding a moto and throwing your arms out like your flying and your
face cracks from the wind and from smiling and how they are laughing as
i pass but i don't care because i'm in Chad and i'm flying.
like sitting under the mango trees with Teskreo (my Chadian father)
having our language lessons. and how he can't stop laughing when i
speak really fast. or the look on his face when he understands what I
said. like the brightest whitest face crunching smile i have ever seen
when he says, "now that you are here, i can speak, i can learn to speak
the English." and how he carefully carries his "compact" (laptop) to
the hospital every day to charge it and how excited he is about learning
to hook up his external drive. like how he has shortened "how are you"
to "how." so i wake up in the morning, or I pass him in the hospital
and he says, "Janna, How?"
like how at breakfast he started singing, humming low, "the answer, my
friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind." and
how I almost teared up because it was Bob Dylan, because it was Africa,
because he knew it, because here, it could not to more relevant. and
how i ran and got my IPOD and we spent the rest of breakfast jamming to
Blowing in the Wind, Forever Young, Shelter from the storm. and how we
couldn't stop smiling and how he said, "Bob Dylan, he is my friend."
there is something so sacred about hearing music like that in a place
like how the 2 year old, Arnou, finally knows my name. and how he will
say, "Anna, I dive! Anna, I dive! (translation, Janna, High Five!) and
how all the kids are all high fiving now. and how we read french Dr.
Suess at night and the giving tree and how we all love to read.
and how the sky is grey and wild and the trees will whip and twist
before the rain and how you can feel the rain in your bones before it
dashes against your skin and how the chickens scatter and the leaves
slap your cheeks and how the bright colored clothes are snatched from
the line and the mats dragged in with the speed of light and how the
rain kisses the earth in giant splatters and how the air is cool and
fresh and breathable and alive. and how it sounds at night, on my tin
room, and how I love to just listen to the rain.
like how a baby is born, and it lives.
or someone gets better.
like how the spices are heaped up in huge wooden bowls and how they are
orange and brown and the black green of the tea and the red of the
millet and the white of the maize and the greens and yellow of the
pepper and the fresh gatos sizzling in shallow vats of oil and how the
fabric is everywhere, hanging and purples and pinks and sunset and
rainbow and garden of colors and how the fabric is on the head and on
the hips and on the racks and on the children and how the flies are
buzzing around the meat and the purple rods of sugarcane and buying a
fanta from the only frigerator in the market and tripping over sheep and
the stacks of candle colored soap squares and the peanuts, the heaps and
heaps of peanuts, (arachides) and the little plastic bags of peanut
butter and the coiled brown dried fish and the plastic flip flops and
strings of blue and red beads and the harsh and the sweet of the
languages bouncing off your eardrums and how the market........
like how there are beautiful things here.