Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Guess this one never got a title.

Last week I took one last run out into the countryside before embarking on a month or so of traveling. Hoping for a haze-free day that would reveal the craggy mountains just beyond my scruffy desert home, I brought along my camera. The mountains didn't show themselves, but I did run into a friend I often encounter on my run past the fields and pastures north of town. Ambling far behind his flock, my little shepherd friend was holding up what from a distance looked like a turkey but, as I got closer realized was a lamb. Newborn, still wet.

I wonder, sometimes, what my shepherd friend's life portends. He's 10 years old and obviously isn't in school. (I think of my 10-year-old niece and a life immersed in school, friendships, music lessons and sports fields.) Will he live his entire life out here, in these fields? Is that a bad thing?

My bac class ~ baccalaurea students, or high-school seniors ~ has been growing exponentially in the past week. What started as three or four quietly well-spoken girls has developed into a real class, boys and girls who talk and joke fairly freely with one another and with me. Their English vocabularies are impressive, and while at first they were shy about attempting extemporaneous conversation, now I have a hard time hearing one student for all the side conversations and joking ~ in English! ~ from the rowdy boys in the back row.

It feels like a bad time to be leaving; I'm finally starting to feel productive here. But left I have; I'm writing from Rabat, the capital a two-day trip up north, where we are engaged in a week of medical appointments at our midpoint in service. Rabat means friends and laughter and foods unavailable in site, cocktails and urban sidewalks and some semblance of nightlife.

From here, it's on to Amrika and three weeks with my family and friends. Yia-Yia's, Maggie's, the Zoo Bar, Amy's front porch, William's new house, niece and nephews and mom's Christmas goodies. A chance to wash my clothes in a machine rather than in the kitchen sink. A chance to replace a laptop currently held together with duct tape.

When I return, I'll have my hands full. Beyond getting my regular classes back on track, I'll be traveling north again to lead a two-day workshop on gender issues for the new crop of volunteers. I'll be assisting with a regional workshop on women's health, training local women to bring accurate information back to their villages. I hope to get my kids excited about hosting a regional theater workshop for neighboring dar chebabs. Also hope to work on a grant to outfit our new library/computer room. And I'll be preparing for spring English immersion camps ... and then summer camps ... only halfway done here and I already feel like time is running out ...

Currently reading: Selected Stories, Andre Dubus

Currently listening to: My pitifully small music archive (Lincolnites! Share music with me when you see me these next few weeks!)

Quote of the day: "When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So ... leap." -- Cynthia Heimel

Saying a temporary goodbye to my hostmothersister.


jill said...

can't wait to see you!!!

Krista said...

Yay! Travel safe my lady friend! Love you!