It is Sunday morning, again. The best time to write. I am regretting yesterday’s message as it makes me sound confused and schizophrenic. But it took an hour to write and all day to post online so I am leaving it. The power is off and I am writing this under the lamp light of my little battery powered book light. I am reading a juicy novel. I spent yesterday tidying up the house. I need to clear all the junk off the front porch. I also need to attempt to defrost that refrigerator. I have never understood how fridge has a “d” but refrigerator doesn’t. So maybe I need to go put all the perishables in the freezer and shut the door quickly and open the door of the fridge and put a towel in it, like Granny McCarley used to do. I used to scrape the ice from the side of the freezer and eat it. Right before I grabbed an ice cream sandwich. She used to always keep them there. But not anymore. Now she just sits there and worries in that little brick house and watches my grandfather die. I know she worries about what will happen when he does. I wish I could scoop her up and bring her here to live with me. She rarely leaves Abbeville County, Mozambique would rock her world. I think she is one of the reasons I do what I do. I didn’t want a life like hers. I didn’t want every day to be the same. She always goes to the grocery store on Wednesday. She usually buys the same things. She has never had sushi or quinoa pancakes. She’s never swam in the Indian Ocean, seen Victoria Falls or the Eiffel Tower. I thought that was sad so I set out to live my life differently. She is ninety pounds dripping wet and mows her own lawn at 82. I think she used to be taller than me, but she is not anymore. She reads the Bible every day. KJV. She always gives me money on my birthday. The exact same amount since the day I was born.
My new roommate arrives today. A German pediatrician. Female, of course. Another reason I should stop what I am doing and get that towel and rearrange the fridge. I know nothing about her but I will soon find out everything as I learn to cohabit.
I bought Muesli at the new gas station. $17 for a kilo. But it is so good and nice for a quick breakfast. So good with coffee. I juiced carrots with ginger, a cucumber and a tangerine right before the power went off. Funny how you can almost feel that it about to happen. I often can feel when there is no water. It just feels dry. Like in your bones. I always wondered how those people could find water with the Y shaped stick. Whatever that is called. I remember asking Dad about that when I was little. I would find a stick and walk around in the back yard waiting for the stick to dip down. He just laughed and never gave me an answer or if he did I wasn’t listening. I had probably dropped the stick and started doing cartwheels instead. I guess it is one of those things, like how Granny McCarley can tell it is going to rain in her arthritic joints.
You can also smell, taste, feel fear. So I guess this brings me to the point where I just may as well tell you. I have a confession and guess I should reveal the other source for yesterday’s ramblings. I was robbed. Last weekend. On the beach. I really don’t want to talk about it. I haven’t really told anyone. I am fine. Just a little shaken. I will be okay. I saw the man approach me from the side, I saw him circle me, but there was little I could do. I also cannot assume that every man who approaches me is going to grab my bag. But now I react that way. Essentially he came at me and grabbed my bag and ran. I instinctively ran after him. We jumped over rocks and down along the beach with me chasing him, knowing full well there was no way I could catch up with him but determined to give it my best shot. I screamed and commanded him to drop my bag. He did, but had taken my valuables. The women and children along the beach collecting mussels and small fish for sustenance heard my screams, as did the guards of the residences along the beach. My violent pleas aroused the locals and within minutes the culprit was captured. A whole lot happened during all of this ordeal. The man was returned to me for identification, beaten badly and without my things. I was shocked to see him being beaten and yelled at the village men to stop beating him. I have never seen someone being beaten before. I have not even seen someone in a fight except for maybe in the courtyard during break at Hart County High School circa 1993. Oh wait. No, there was that bar fight during Sine Die after the last night of the legislative session. That guy is still there. A lobbyist, an attorney now I think, making $250,000 a year. But this guy is a bloody mess and I am in total shock. I am trying to think rationally, speak in a different language and pray. I do all this and somehow, miraculously, am able to convey that I simply want to find my things and the robber slowly takes us in the direction he ran. The police are here at this point, another miracle. They tell me to sit on a rock and wait. I don’t like being told what to do. I stand and wait. But then a guard tells me that the police in Mozambique are bad. So glad he didn’t use the word, “corrupt”, or “not trustworthy” but simply, “no good” or else I would have been lost. So I take him at his word and we follow the police who are following the robber, and no one can trust anybody and I just want my stuff back. I am getting sunburned by this point and really just want to go home and redo this entire day. We find the police in the corner of a field, one of them holding my things, an overpriced iPhone and an unattractive cloth tie-dyed wallet that I use for my various documents and licenses required here. They have me identify it all and I soon realize that if I had not shown up the police would be casting lots for my phone. All of a sudden the adrenaline wears off and my knees are knocking and the fear that should have stopped me from going after the robber overcomes me. The villagers follow us for a few minutes but then slowly taper off as we walk for miles to the police station. They finally flag down a truck full of sand and the prisoner, the police and I crawl inside and get a lift for the last mile. The prisoner is crying. He is bleeding and covered in spit and snot and sand and I don’t want to look at him but I can’t stop cutting my eyes over to him. I realize that he is really just a boy. I never wanted for him to be beaten, I never wanted him to go to jail, I never wanted to be robbed, none of this should have happened. The whole ordeal was horrible and I am just glad it is over. It was not as bad for me as it was for the poor boy. I guess I am only telling you this so that you can see a little bit more what it is like. I can’t sugarcoat things. I am telling you this to say that I love what I do. I am honored to be here. I love, love, love creating something new. I love working in this area of development with those in need. I love this life and how it requires faith, big and small. Sometimes mine is small, other days, gigantic. It is the greatest. I know I am supposed to be here. It seems like everything I put my hands to comes to fruition and it shows me that I am here for a purpose. But this is also hard. It kinda helps to write it down and look at it. It helps immensely to know that you pray for me. I am at a loss for what else to say. I didn’t even mean to say all that. It just came out.
A visitor is coming tomorrow to help with the English courses. Another answer to prayer and someone coming along at the perfect time to help. She just emailed randomly and told me she was coming in a few days and asked what I needed. She is an expert in the area of English language training and asked what else she could bring. She is also bringing supplies for the sewing school.
I am going to go back to my novel and escape to life in New York as a television writer who shops at Barney’s. Then I am off to defrost the fridge and Monday morning back to my life of unplugging it and changing a culture for the better.