Friday, September 23, 2011

Picture Perfect Africa

So yesterday, the 22nd of September, was Independence Day here in Mali, but I found that my family did nothing to celebrate it. Later that day when I talked to Meena, I found out that people here don't really celebrate Independence Day (but apperently, New Year is big!) I really enjoy sharing and comparing stories with her, becuase I learn a lot, such as Independence day versus New Year. The highlight of my day, though, was the rain. In Seattle, I'm always complaining about the rain being "wimpy" becuase even though it rains all day, its a light sprinkle that only serves to make you sad. But here in Mali, when it rains, Oh Boy, IT RAINS. I literally ran outside, and got soaked through in a minute, maybe less, and stayed out there for a good 30 minutes jumping and just dancing in the rain. It was heaven :)
Today was very sunny, and at 3 o'clock, I went up to the second floor of my house (which is currently being constructed, as well as the third floor) sat down on the ledge and just wrote about what I saw. I wanted to try to create a picture of my view for you guys, so welp, here it is. I titled it Picture Perfect Africa.

I’m floating. I’m floating above everybody’s heads supported by smooth gray stone looking out into the horizon and all I see are dirty houses yellow houses pink houses green green trees rustling in the wind Anicle Isuf grey white blue clouds in the horizon wet laundry hanging out to dry on the rooftops a woven chair walks past me goes out the yard is sat on I hear the call to prayer faint, the rustle of leaves, a motorcycle two three four, birds calling a dog barked, people talking spitting what are they saying? the sound of metal hitting metal BOOM! a door is closed. Flies on me but I don’t care I’m used to it they don’t bother me anymore gentle breeze carresing my skin a blessing in this beautiful heat. Women walk past my door baskets on their head I am the invisible observer I see but remain unseen a lizard wanders into the sun freeze do not move and scuttles off men gather outside my door chat among themselves a mud bird bobs past a tree. I am inclosed in my garden I dare not step outside and disrupt the peace. Leaves of all shapes and sizes large small skinny round I smell the dirt dirt that gets everywhere and makes all things red red dirt red dust red age. Here I am pale-face nothing like that smooth black beauty motorcycle words so many unknown words beautiful but confusing more women walking past I stick my tongue out can I taste the air? I guess not I smell gasoline petroleum another motorcycle grumbles past me but I taste the rice I ate for lunch the beef pieces in the sauce that goes over the rice. Redish-brownish suace like the dirt, but slightly slimey. More motocycles a bike now, tin hitting tin tink tink one two one two over and over again a radio is turned on too far away to make out the words its rather cool today and I wonder if it is going to rain. It smells like rain but that could be a lingering memory from yesterday voices rise over all the sounds mouth babbling out syllables syllables I try to repeat but fail to copy what does it mean what does it mean? My door swings open creak and close creak creak but my private world is inpenentrable only I can enter and leave its gates my leg swings in the open air am I worried about falling? No. Is he worried about getting in a motorcycle accident? No. My Nene’s car is not under the roof perhaps she is out shopping or visiting friends. Bouba is out I don’t see Asetu or Isuf a yello car just drove past beep a horn I smell food cooking but not in my house solid column behind my back and I’m still floating amonst gray stone and red metal a house being constructed motorcycle number 528 rides past men boys children riding and driving this one is a boy with a blue backpack green leaves yellow leaves going slightly orange brown leaves Isuf walks in carrying music in his hands strings are sturmmed a voice is singing birds chirping but a creaking door ruins it all or does it add to the harmony? A man talks a friend is looking for Bouba hey I know him I raise my hand Hi but its too late he’s left and doesn’t see me. Perhaps its time to come down leave my garden walk around Hello Africa, how are you?

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