I remember my father talking about walking through villages in Italy where his quartermaster company would spend a night. He and his buddy would look for spices in the window and would later return to trade army rations for hidden Italian delicacies. And I recall Jon Anderson or Steve Hyde talking about walking from their house in Obili to the school site and spending sometimes a half an hour due to all the greetings they would receive and give. It’s about getting to know a place and be known in that place.
We stay in a place at the east end of Doumandzou and Mad Bum could throw a fast ball from where we are drinking a Regab and hit the school we are rehabbing easily. A walk to the west end of Doumandzou is about 800 meters and it can be magical.
I get and give greetings to folks sitting in front of their houses. I greet people sitting outside of Jean Martin’s house/buvette. They ask where I am going, “Just to the top of the hill where the wire crosses the road.”
And now I am there. No more Doumandzou ahead of me so I turn around. The full moon is rising, an orange in some whispy clouds. Two toucans cry out as they fly over (think geese-just as loud, but slightly smaller. And then the playful voices of kids filling up water for their families at the village pump/well. More questions “Andre what are you doing?” “Just out for a walk.” And so much more.
I must conclude with many thanks to John, Mary and Henk who preceded us here and left this past Monday. Our transition to Doumandzou would not have so easy but for them.
I have to learn to post pictures-next time.