Saturday, June 20, 2009

full circle

day 3 and day 26

yesterday afternoon, I was walking back from the internet cafe to the center, lazily (the first free afternoon in weeks), feeling relaxed familiar with everything and everyone on the way.
Children and families were waving and saying hi, and my most basic ewe freed its way from the back of my mind through my throat and mouth and into the heat of koepya air.
I was happy.
I have been wearing the same shoes for a month and they now have the shape of my feet.
It will be fun to climb up into the highest of the high heels the moment I land to NYC.

When I got back top the center, I saw that the new group of students had arrived. From Vancouver.
12 white people. It was very bright in the center!
And I remembered the day I arrived.
A hot afternoon about a month ago, a group from Boston was just about to leave.
I was pale, confused, eager, clueless, just about to take my first lesson.
Now I was about to leave and the group had just arrived, and they were taking their first lesson.
I sat down with the drumming group and casually joined in.

In the shady part of the deck, my favorite family, my 10-year old friend Kofi, his cute sister Priscilla and their mom were lying on the cool concrete, listening to loud drumming, chilling.

The mom gestured to her foot - letting me know that her cut hasn't quite healed yet and that she needed another band-aid (about 10 days ago, I gave her one or two, she has gotten a nasty cut somehow).
I went into my room and brought out a bottle of antiseptic liquid, a piece of gauze and a 3 large band - aids.
I helped her clean the wound and put the band-aid on. She thanked me in (she new how to say good morning and thank you in English, but her smiles talks million languages).
A little girl who was lying together with the family showed me that she had had a cut too, so I helped her clean it and put another band-aid on her tiny foot.

I was happy.

Then Kofi said -
Now, your friends are here and I will not play with your computer again (he would come to the dining room every night at my dinner time and we'd work on my laptop together. he wanted to learn EVERYTHING and was really good at doing it too. sometimes Priscilla would come with him and the two of us would dance or clap or just goof around to the music Kofi was exploring or making).
Of course you can still play with my computer! And they are not my friends. I've never seen these people in my life - I told him.

I know, but they are... like you - he said.

They are white? I laughed. He smiled. So what? You about a 1000 times are more my friend then them. I don't even know them.
He smiled more.
And you can just come in with me and play on my computer - they have another hour of lesson before they'll even go into the dining room.

But he shook his head no.

Don't be afraid, you can come in with me. No one is going to be angry at you.

My brother will be angry with me - he said, and my heart stiffened. His older brother (I'm still not sure how is he related to the rest of the Agbeli family, which seem to range from quite well off to the extreme opposite) had told him to stay away from the white men territory.

I went in and brought my laptop out for him to play.
For the next hour hour Kofi, Priscilla, mom, the little girl and I watched videos and pictures of that day's performance.
Including the ones in which Kofi and I performed together.
They were extatic - Kofi on FILM!!!! In a movie!!!!

I was happy.

1 comment:

  1. a wonderful post..i am very happy for you..i know i keep saying that, but this is actually very inspiring for me..