These Hands

Rachel Schrattenholzer - Senegal


January 26, 2015

I took my place on the crowded bus, folding up the roughly welded seats and tattered cushioning as I passed. One of my favorite parts of going to Joal is access to fresh fruits and veggies, which I don’t see much of in Ndianda. I sat down and immediately pulled out the orange I bought before getting on. I noticed its shape, the bright color, and the smell. Fruit is something I make note to enjoy as much as I can.

While peeling the orange, I felt a dull sting on my hands. Looking down at the smalllines I remembered hurriedly cutting onions the night before. In my mindfulness, I took a second to really look at my hands. I saw how rough they have become. My fingers are well callused. The skin on the top of my knuckles was accidentally scrubbed away from doing laundry the day before. I remembered last night when my host sister was almost horrified at the state of my hands. I assured her it’s just a step in having stronger hands. With that she laughed and said I would not be returning home, Yow

Rachel Schrattenholzer