Saturday, January 2, 2010

Being Understood

Two weeks ago, I was attacked.

By this:

Okay, it didn't actually get the chance to attack me, but it was planning to, I know it.  This being, this result of the unholy union between a cockroach and a scorpion, was sitting on the stairs outside of my room and it was facing towards my room.

Even in my panic, I kept a clear head.  I did the only sensible thing.  I ran to the watch tower and yelled for our guards.  "J'ai un tres grand problème et j'ai besoin d'aide!"

The younger guard, who I hadn't seen before, actually began reaching for his emergency radio.  Luckily, our older guard, who is always there, stopped him with a look and a shake of his head.   "C'est Rachel," he said, introducing me.  He then he calmly followed me to find and destroy the monster.

Even though our older guard does not speak perfect French (and for sure, neither do I), I liked it, the fact that he understood me, my intentions, when I spoke.  I felt known.

And that is why traveling back to Goma is very different than traveling to Goma for the first time.  This time, I have friends.


Looking at the picture of the bug, from the safe distance of an ocean and two weeks, I feel a bit badly that I was the cause of its demise.  Poor sad buggy.  I am sorry.  But at the time, it seemed huge and it was nighttime and the bug was just glowing, its pinchers casting scary shadows beneath the security lamp.