We have the standard, planned, black-out every night from midnight until 6am. But for the last four nights the lights have gone out in the early evening and one day at 2pm. This means all food in the fridge spoils which is why Burundians only use their fridges to cool water and store root vegetables.
But the neighborhood is quieter, and it allows us to enjoy the mosquitos in their natural moonlight. with so little light pollution, you can read outside in the moonlight. It is quite delicious. And it had one of its standard effects - poetry. So here for a change of pace.
casts a shadow
on my naked
in the garden
lights what is not
Class is in session
Wow, I am working now.
One week of three complete.
This week we had theives and chickens, and grace, and hard questions.
Dani and I commute by Moto from far south Buja to far north Buja daily.
Please pray that Niyonzima's grandchildren will be preserved.
We commute, teach, prepare the next days lessons, and I fall into bed exhausted.
I leave on the 30th - two weeks from Monday.
Most of the blogging may happen when I get home.
certainly all the pictures.
I am deep in the work.
I am absolutely convinced that my call was true, and that I am doing it.
My nose also is turned towards the barn.
The Mother's Union
The International Union of Mother's is strong here. Children are group projects. In church, the woman or girl holding the baby is only rarely the actual mother. On the street, any mother may actively mother any child. Me too.
I broke up a fight on the street this morning on the way to the Tropicana.
A small street child, a boy, (actually the child of one of the nearby street vendors who puts their kids out to beg - not an actual homeless child - there are fewer of those these days.) was being tormented by a slightly older girl. He decided to escalate the matter by picking up a fistsized cobblestone and aimed it at short range at her noggin - except that I was right behind him and interupted his windup by plucking the stone from his hand. I made the clucking sound of disapproval that mothers make here and gave him a nice highpitched and strong "OYA!" (no!) Girl, seizing her opportunity, closed in to slap him on the face. Fortunately she was intercepted by the mother coming from the other direction. She did a much better job of scolding than I could do, and we shoved them off in opposite directions. She nodded to me and I to her, and we proceeded. The kids were, of course, free to pick up the battle where they left off but not without the knowledge of what the mother's think, and probably with two fresh mothers on the scene. We don't have to be everywhere - because we are everywhere.
Back down in Buja after a mid-week trip to Gitega. The THARS compind looks great with four completed buildings one about to be finished and two at the foundations stage. The wall is complete around without blocking the view of the Valley, the landscaping is really coming together.This week there will be daily healing activities for Gitega street children. The greatest part of the prep for this was the acquisition of a full set of traditional Burundian drums. Go to Youtube and search Burundian drums if you are curious. We had a blast playing them. The kids will too!
Dani and I got some bad food and were pretty sick for a night but we are recovered.
I have 27 students to start teaching Monday. I am in town at the Tropicana for lunch and internet and then gather supplies. Milagro is parked at MM; All is well
The WAY of Traffic
Traffic is a complex integrity. The Traffic, she is one, yet many. You must understand her and honor her as one, yet participate as one of many. You are part of her; this you must accept. If you attempt to enter her as a solitary being, she will reject you. You must become her, while being true to your own nature.
The various parts each have their own nature. The great Lorries are the Tembo. They embody power. They start slowly and stop more slowly yet. They rumble where they will. They do not adjust or change their course for you. To ask them to make any sudden change or even to notice you is to ask them to be untrue to their own nature, and the Traffic, she will be offended. Nothing good ever comes of that.
The Autos, great to small, are the cattle - bulls and cows. The big Land Cruisers push aside the smaller cows. It is their nature. Cattle move best in orderly formation, they queue up rank and file. Autos respect Lorries and make orderly rows around them. They pay attention to the Lorries and notice their intentions to turn or stop. They attend and cooperate. When they aret true to their natures they movely with regularity and intention; neither timid nor impulsive. If a large auto thinks to taken upon itself the nature of the Lorrie, Traffic will eventually teach that auto a lesson in humility. When the auto is fearful, and does not live up to its rightful place, Traffic will be confused and frustrated.
We are the Moto. We swarm. Our nature is quick and intuitive. We are like water and flow into the spaces left by the larger creatures. We are like smoke and rise to the top of every queue. The Lorries do not see us. We are beneath their recognition. We pay homage to them, not the other way around. The autos cede us our place and are not offended when we pass them and form up at the front. It is in our nature to form groups whenever we can. A swarm of motos can move as one and be recognized as a cow to make a left turn, and then we melt again into a string and thread our way through. When we are untrue to our nature and in a solitary act of hubris attempt to take the place of a cow, the cows are offended at the waste of space. If we are true to our nature and listen for the voice of Traffic, she will reveal a pathway for us and maintain our safety in it. It is untrue to our nature to attend to the lower creatures, but it is in our nature to announce our presence frequently with our bright chirping horns, so that the lower creatures may honor us.
The bicycles are a fallen race. Once they swarmed, dipped and dived like the moto. Now they have been pushed to the edges. Working harder for so much less. Not able to compete in size or speed, they sell their sweat, and dream of the upgrade from catepillar to butterfly. It is a kindness, an alms-giving to make way for the bicycles - a payment in humility to the knowledge that Traffic is not done creating and someday you may be moved to the edge.
The humans walk. They have their own pathways now on the concrete ways. It is wrong to drive on their path. When Traffic sings her song in the dirt, they join us in the way. It is important to sense their presence but not really see them. They are watching the moving ones. Gaging their nature, speed, and attitude, and finding their own path. If you look at them and try and adjust to them, it will just throw them off and plunge them into peril. They trust you to stay true to your nature and you must trust them to protect their own lives. They are occasionally skittish and they balk or jump. When this happens you must look at them and try not to kill them, but Traffic is disturbed and their peril shifts to you as you deviate from the way. You must regain harmony as swiftly as possible and thank Traffic for the grace.
Traffic does not walk, or sweat, or swarm, or queue, or rumble. She flows. Serene when all who are part of her surrender, accept, and engage.