Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Sunday

Today I love it here. Like everything about this place, my feelings for it happen in stark contrast. Some days I am horribly frustrated, but other days, like today, I’m in awe of the beauty. From where I am sitting right now, I can see a kingfisher flying in place, in one little spot of air above the lake, and it makes me want to cry with love.

Today I am eating well, because we had a post-Thanksgiving pre-Holidays dinner last night here at the house and now I am sitting, typing, looking over the lake, and eating candied sweet potatoes and spicy apple cake.

This morning, I took the car to pick up A at his church and then traveled with him to the hospital where his mother is resting. She just gave birth to A’s baby sister. The tiny infant is 36 hours old, white and smushy, with perfect hands and perfect fingernails the size of forget-me-knot flower petals. She doesn’t have a name yet, so the mama said I could name her. I said “Mary,” like my own mother and my grandmother, and the mama said, “Hmm.” Anyway, it’s on the table.

Before picking A up, I’d gone to Virunga market, a large outdoor market with electronics, veggies, and clothes, and found three little baby outfits, two pink and one blue, for the little girl.

With our driver, I drove A back to his house, which is in a lovely little neighborhood called Himbi. It’s crowded and full of flowering trees of every color. I like it so much better than the neighborhood of our compound and our office, which is empty and ugly. A’s father and baby sisters greeted me and invited me back to visit any time, which was so kind.

Our driver, my friend E, who was also my driver in the field in Kitchanga and Nyanzale, drove me home via the port, because we were near it and he knew I hadn’t yet seen it. It’s small but beautiful, with medium metal boats of every color, several half sunk, and green hills behind it, and of all the places I’ve been in the world, it looks the most like Amalfi or Cinqe Terra.