Monday, January 19, 2015

smell of cut grass

As I write this,  the sound of a lawnmower is filling my classroom. One of the gardeners is cutting grass just outside my classroom. I rarely see a lawnmower here .... The smell is great and makes me think of spring.

I stayed up too late last night to take in a live NFL playoff game.. Went to Champions Bar and Grill last night at 10:15 to watch Seattle v. Green Bay.  Surrounded by mostly Americans, it was a nice taste of home.. 

Sundays are still tough here.. We have had so much family time over the past several months, we are all going to need a vacation from each other.. Yesterday we drove around town to try and find a place to have brunch.. After driving to 2 restaurants( and finding out they were closed for some reason) we landed at a local hotel.. The brunch took a very, very , very, very long time.. While waiting for my coffee, my mind started to wander back home to any restaurant where you can get your food in less that an hour. I couldn't stop thinking of TGIF's for some reason..  It didn’t help much that I slowly found myself covered with flies and smelling the stench of a dead animal that must have been somewhere in our vicinity.. Our service was great , but the order was totally and completely lost in translation.. how the order was screwed up doesn’t really matter… Let’s just say that I was the only one who received what they ordered..It wasn’t anything major, just all wrong.. which I think added another layer of somberness to our already somber morning.. Another wonderful dining experience here in Malawi.. 

In the evening we had some friends over for dinner, and Joseph our guard, pulled a Radar O'Reilly... it was amazing.. If you've seen MASH, Radar usually once an episode says.. "Choppers" and in a few seconds, the sound of incoming helicopters fills the air.. no one else can sense or hear the oncoming "choppers", but Radar can... So yesterday we were all casually standing around the braai stand enjoy a beverage and watching the chicken burn over hot coals, when Joseph comes around the corner carrying the kids' toys, soccer ball, etc...  He says to us, "the rain is coming"... we look at each other , look at the sky and kind of shrug it off.  All of a sudden you can hear this giant wall of water approaching from the west.. In about 2 minutes, the rain hit our yard and we scattered inside.. I appreciate a man who is so in tune with his surroundings. 

 I went golfing yesterday…. and the caddy who was walking with me asked me where I was from… He has been a caddy for 15 years.. His name was Charles…  I told him I was from America and he said.. “you know, you people from America are kind people. You are giving , respectful and friendly.. those people from Europe are hard people. they take things too seriously, they don’t smile and are hard… Life is not hard, life is easy.. why do they make it so hard??“ He then asked why Americans were so friendly … I told him it was to cover up our ignorance..

It's interesting that in a place like this, where poverty, disease, flooding, drought, sickness seem to be a daily part of existence,  a caddy of 15 years who has 3 children and probably makes less than 60$ a month finds life to be easy..
Living here will change your perspective and makes you question if your reality/your perspective is the one that’s messed up.. 

 In the end, I think this place is nuts.. or maybe we’re nuts.. I’m not sure yet..  I do know that this place sometimes feels so different from home,  no connection between the two. That we live in two totally different places , two totally different worlds that in no way are alike.. except I can still watch football and eat chicken wings.. so i got that going for me.. which is nice.

Monday brings sunshine.. but there’s a chance of a cyclone storm hitting us this week.. That’s the talk of the town right now.. One extreme to another..