Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Closure with my one-hundredth post.

Where to start? Ive been putting this closing blog off for the last month during my leisurely travels back to the US of A, which may be the safe excuse to go with. Ive had so many undulating feelings since my big move out of village, my home for the last 2 years, to my most recent realization that the door to that gratifying life experience is only open by the key hole.
Nalli Samba and baby Jii, Nalli and little Hawa, Baaba Jii, Diebou & baby Homa & Tidiane, Neene Koumba & Houssae & Issatou, Aminata, Tidiane and me.
I stayed up as late as I could with my family that last night. We spent the evening reminiscing about silly things that Ive said and mistakes Ive made. They punctuated each consecutive ending with a heavier sigh that made its way to weigh my heart down a little more. I was determined not to crack like they say we Americans do so often. For one of the very few times, I stayed out in the compound later than most people in my family. But of course there are going to be those too stubborn and kind not to share one more dazzling night under the sweet Senegalese sky. I wish my pale face wasnt as distinguishable in the moon light- it was the only veil concealing my ebbing tears.

The night turned from lovely to long once I returned to my hut for the last time. With my walls now stripped of the letters and pictures from home along with the latest drawings and knickknacks from my little kids, I was the only thing left in this red, round room that could attest to the collaboration of effort and repeated failure that I ultimately grew with. Contemplative thoughts led my lucid mind to wild dreams. My brother Tidiane later said he didnt sleep either because "the mind cant rest without the heart."
My early-departure plans failed miserably. Mother Nature stuck it to me one last time with a heavy thunderstorm that threatened to wash the road away altogether. Instead, I sat at my open back door as I had done so many hot afternoons, fishing for a breeze, and so many early mornings, awaiting song birds and dawn. The air was still humid when Tidiane came with fresh breakfast milk and demanded that afterwards he would help bike my equipment to the road. My brother, my family made my life so much easier because of thoughtful things like this.

Everything just kept going forward. I was mindful and collected until little Jennabou looked up at me with eyes Ill never forget, asking, "Are you coming back?"
so much love
My family has a new volunteer now, Stephanie, who has recently been welcomed into the community as "Sira Diao." Im so happy to share such a wonderful and warm family, community, and (sort of) life with her. I feel like I have a new little sister that I get to watch grow up. She makes that key hole to our little piece of Senegal a little more manageable.