Friday, June 6, 2008

Breathless Wonder

I was suffused with SUCH goodwill for South Sudan this morning. I was driving out to the airstrip from the office in Yei and from the minute I left the compound, everything was just so damned picturesque.

Right outside the gate, there was a long tallllllllll man with his little one year old son perched on the back of the bike, hanging on to the frame like a monkey and staring at everything going past with huge, serious eyes.

Women were walking in to market with their wraps, tied like colored frat party togas over one shoulder and baskets full of greens on their heads.

Three men walked past me, pushing cycles loaded down with logs which looked like they weighed around 1,000 pounds each as they sank further and further in to the mud.

A truck ahead of me was loaded down with bags of sorghum and, perched on top, five children sat clapping and singing songs at passersby. One of them was wearing a huge, yellow fur cossacks hat with ear flaps that covered his whole head and was clearly his prize possession.

Soldiers, their guns dangling off their toes by their straps, sat on the top a truck's cab, staring at me with, for once, friendliness instead of some sort of lecherous suspicion.

AND it was bright blue sky sunny.

AND there was a light cool breeze coming through the window.

AND Dolly Parton was on the radio.

There are just moments where it works, you know? And all of a sudden I forget how much I hate all the nonsense and the fighting and the bugs and the swollen eyes and how much I love being in a different country on a pretty day.

No comments: