Coming to Terms

Ananda Day - Senegal


November 17, 2009

By all means today should not have been an encouraging day. I got to work and did an hour and fifty minutes worth of raking turtle feces, feed, and pathways. I then walked home and commenced to do three hours worth of hand washing laundry. It was incredibly hot and it didn’t help that every person walking by gawked like a three year old in a candy shop. Then while hanging up my laundry I managed to get sand on about half the clothes in the bucket… meaning that I am looking forward to some exfoliating clothes. The best part is I still have to do my whites. Oh, and my hands are rawer than fish in a sushi roll. I finally got to work and was halfway through putting up my last blog when the power went out for fifteen minutes, and then I started the process all over again.

Throughout all of these things I was not ecstatic, but the surprising this is that I wasn’t dying of anger or annoyance. Is it possible that I’m slowly starting to think “insha’allah” unconsciously?

The real capstone came after everything though. After finally posting my blog, my boss Benoit and I took a clando (clandestine taxi) to Bambilor. He went to get Coca Cola for the Village boutique, and I went to pick up ten liter water bottles (since they don’t sell them in my town). I’m sitting squished in between someone who smells like gumbo, and a standoffish woman with five ear holes, and it hits me like the door I ran into today (yes, I do have a bruise, no, I have no excuse): “oh my, this is that beauty people talk about their whole lives.”

Crazy “Touba” and “Alhamdulillah”-tagged Ndiaga Ndiaye vans veering around pot holes, my driver steering in swerves as his steering column is obviously off, crumbling concrete buildings next to others that are painted like Rainbow Bright sets which are next to thatched huts, the sun glistening off of the red sand creating millions of little mirrors as it sets, the trees so green you can’t believe they are in Africa and not England, and the stunningly dress people walking in between the red and green spheres with dinner resting on their heads.

In most of the terms that have defined my life, I didn’t accomplish much today. And for now, it really is okay.  Last year when I was with a very wise friend I was reminded that when you’re happy, you don’t have to question it or justify anything.  Perhaps my terms are changing, or maybe I’m just finding perfect moments in new things. Either way, it seems as if that setting sun has finally my soul and heart here in Senegal.

Ananda Day