The Village

I just got back from spending the weekend with a fellow volunteer who lives in a village about 40k from me. Our time together was amazing.

When I joined the Peace Corps I really wanted to live in a small village: no electricity, no running water, the works. This is how my friend lives. It is awesome!

We made dinner by lantern light. I sat and jotted in my notebook by the light from a candle stuck in an old bottle of Baileys with mounds of wax stuck to the sides. I stood on her front porch watching the sun set to my right and the harvest moon rise through the trees to my left. It was beautiful!

Her village is perfect! During the day we wandered on dirt paths through tall grasses and fields, passing beneath trees ten feet around, with giant knobs that have to be hundreds of years old. We wandered along paths, our feet getting dirtier with each step, until we came into clearings where women, wearing only brightly colored pagnes around their waists, their large pendulous breasts swinging freely, would be grinding corn to make dinner. Their families would be sitting in circles around them talking. There was somthing wonderful about the family and group dynamic that I sometimes find missing in my culture.

The second day we went into a large town about 18k away. The first thing we did there was have egg sandwiches. It is amazing how wonderful protein is, and how much I crave it after a diet of carbs and tons of veggies. We sat in a small plywood shack around a low counter piled high with empty Nescafe cans, and watched the omelet guy take eggs from a two foot tall stack of flats, crack them, and perfectly fry these wonderful protein filled snacks.

Later we went to a bar and drank cold beer. Simply put, a cold drink is an amazing treat. I cannot even begin to express the pure joy of pressing a frosty glass of freshly poured beer to my lips, then feeling it run into my mouth and onto my tongue, and on down my parched throat. Heaven! What I usually drink, day after day, is warm water tasting of bleach (2 drops for every liter of water kills everything in the water). My friend and I let out the same expression of ecstasy after our first taste. Something that in the past could have given me nothing more than a slight rise or invoked only a small response, now brings to a head all the joy and happiness inside me.

9 comments:

Gary said...

How nice to either connect or reconnect with the joy in simple things that our affluent lifestyle sometimes blurs. Enjoyed this blog: heard your voice loud and clear.

By the way, I liked the pictures of the last few blogs. Nice to have something to visualize.

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