As you have probably noticed, I am going through old journal entries in order to “catch up” my blog on life out here. Here is one from this past December:
It has been entirely too long since I wrote in this journal. It is funny, as life gets increasingly normal here, the desire to chronicle my experiences seems to decrease. My hope was such an “extraordinary adventure” as living in Africa would spur me on to become a journaler. Ironically enough, instead this adventure is just becoming life.
I sit in a chair on my little back porch in the village watching the sun go down over the distant ocean as I write this. Now that this is becoming the norm, it may be more important than ever that I take this time to reflect on my experiences here. I see myself slipping into a numbness to the places, people, and purpose around me. May I not lose sight of my task here… no… of God’s task here.
A brief update: I spend more and more time in the bush now. I have been out here for over a week now and will be here for a couple more. The faces have all become familiar and I no longer look at them as strangers. It appears the same may be true of me as the stares and undue attention paid to my goings on has died down. People do not come to visit as much as they once did. This, of course, necessitates my going to visit them in order to interact. I have lost my “home court advantage,” so to speak. Ultimately, that was a good thing.
The season here in West Africa has officially changed. The weather is definitely getting drier. The small ponds strung together in consecutive succession they call roads here have now been replaced by empty bowls of dust. A red haze is beginning to fill the sky as the African dust settles on everything. The bright greens of trees and lush, tropical plantlife is being clothed in a drab, dirty blanket. They call this time of year Harmattan. Supposedly the prevailing winds of the area switch directions and instead of a wet sea breeze flowing in from the coast, a dry air blows in from the north. Of course, the northern “coast” is the West African Sahel, and is indeed bordered by its own kind of sea. The native languages actually refer to this area as a coast (that is originally what Sahel means) to the great sea of sand we call the Sahara desert. As the wind blows across the endless expanse of desert to the north on its way here, it gets continually drier, picking up sand as it goes and depositing it across West Africa.
Despite the dust, the dry climate brings with it a much needed relief from the oppression of the humidity. Nights can even get cool, well, comparatively speaking. I have even went a night or two without my little battery fan.
The sun has now set and its last rays of light are quickly disappearing. I had much more I wanted to say, but it will have to wait until tomorrow…
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