Visiting Africa has truly been a wild journey. Yesterday, Sunday, I was taken to a town called Dande. It was a while from the city of Bobo. Mostly I tried gesturing to people when they spoke or I used my un pau francias. Wasn’t feeling so great so I sat under a tree for most of the day with Stephan, Larry, and the other folks in the compound. The people are so relaxed.
Some of us took turns in a way shooing the goats from the food bowls. Baby chickens walked straight over my legs while I laid on a mat trying to rest.
The women of the compound were all active cooking foods, holding children, and assisting in offerings. When they saw me breathing slightly funny one came up to me with a blue cup with red water in it. They motioned for me to sniff the liquids. I did, my nose started running it was as if i had taken in cayenne pepper water. I could breath better which was nice. My nostrils however were burning.
I’m really glad to have had the opportunity to hang out with the women. Before it was all said and done I was placed on a stool and somekind of plant resin was burned while i held my head over the coals with my shawl to keep the smoke from escaping. A woman had grabbed me layed me across her lap and held me really tight, yep I needed a hug. i was offered something that tasted like donuts, and danced for the family with my shawl over my head in rhythm with beautiful music on the radio. I loved dancing for them they made sounds like eh’ when they liked something and one of the women danced too while singing the song she knew.
I needed to dance barefooted on the earth. I needed to shake off the winds around me and dance. Silly, theatrical, and like it is the medicine that brings me to myself again. I do imagine it was a sight to see.
But thats why I came. To tell a story, to dance and sing, to see and grow. To touch mama Africa hands and barefooted on Mama Earth. To say hello.
Call me a pilgrim if you will.
Today is Monday. It’s been a day no doubt. My blood test results spoke of iron deficiency and low counts in the iron and b vitamin departments. There are no real super veggies about except Moringa as far as I know. So I am going to take drastic action and eat meat voluntarily after 5 years of being a veggie lover. Oh goodness wish me well.
Update: I ate chicken! Thank you thank you thank you.
Last night Larry and a friend of his whose name I don’t know took me to the clinque (thats how it is spelled). Opened the door for me and both of them sat on my bed as I waited for the doctor. I was in a room with three other people. A crone I imagine, who was lying on her side in and out of sleep and a child and her mother. The child was probably no more than four.
Then came the part I didn’t like…they wanted to check my blood. Prick one, my finger, prick two my arm. Cotton swab. Rest. As for the glucose IV bag by the bed I said no thanks for the sugar and three men tried to continuously convince me it was necessary to have the IV. It took twenty minutes then I sat all pricked and upset.
I noticed it but didn’t say anything but you know you have to leave it to someone else to say it. Larry said, Sabrina haha look girl over there iv no problem but Sabrina big problem haha. Everyone laughed. Very funny. On this.trip.I brought a big bag of candy chocolates and three blowpops. I had put the blow pops in my pocket that day and so being in a room with three people I gave them the three candies. Seemed very serendipitous to me.
Larry and his friend came in and out of the room keeping me company. Then came the next big deal. They put medicine in the iv that made me feel tired, then they wanted to put more in my arm. I said, oh my gosh what! and everyone laughed again the elder in the room kept trying to convince me by pointing and making gestures and speaking french, Larry translated.After a long time I consented. They were trying to get me to relax and go to bed and the way they thought to do it was that way. It took twenty minutes, Larry must have known cause he said you feel sleep, and I finally couldn’t do it anymore I was out. So many dreams.
When i woke up it was just us.the women. They were sleeping under their blankets I was cold. I opened the door of the room. I just wanted the iv out of my arm. It wasnt easy sleeping with it in. I tell you one thing …I would like to donate blankets to hospitals in Burkina because there weren’t any. It was a cold night. The women must have brought covers from their home.
I went to the desk and woke the man who was the receptionist lying on the floor. I gestured that wanted the IV out because the bag was finished. He went to get the doctor who at first didnt understand probably because he had just woken up too. Then he thankfully removed it and I layed out to go to bed. About six in the.morning, or shall I say four hours later, a woman was washing the floor in the room she was so thorough that she was hitting the beds with the mop. Then about seven something i was still pretty much tired on the medicines. But awesomely I turned and saw Larry’s friend. He walked up to the bed lifted the mosquito netting held my arm and helped me out of the room. Larry was thanking the doctors who asked him do i smoke? No. Do i drink? No. Am I on any drugs? No.
Then he handed.over my blood test results and we were out. By the time I made it to the hotel I had many messages from friends wondering about me. Larry was adamant about bread, eggs, and tea.
One message from a friend was that I should come home. And to send them my info so that my ticket could be changed. But it was so late there in america and so early here I called the airline. They changed my ticket for free because of all the hastle getting me here and because I had to come out of pocket. So that was great news. I just told them the truth.
I would like to go home early. They were nice about it. They just changed it and said something like ma’am have a great flight home.
What’s wild and this is TMI is that every country I have been to including Canada I have had to go ernestly but here nothing. I hope thats a good thing. But i have only been eating hot foods, and bottled water. I only stepped out once when an elder offered me food. I ate some of it out of respect. Whats cool is that she offered me moringa stewed. Larry’s friend whose name I didn’t know brought me Moringa seeds yesterday. If you know about Moringa…all it takes is a few seeds or a a dose of the leaves and it will give you lots of Vitamins and Minerals but at the cost of having to go ernestly to the restroom.
Slow and steady
Too big for all that rushin’
Saving energy for the meat of a savory large fine
Prey, look both ways
Dream hunting in the cool
Mud caking up the shoes
Hidden in the leaves
Taking naps in the breeze
Fall back in the ease
Waves passing as a sneeze
Bless your heart
There are caverns, then there’s carts
Braiding up the hair
Kicks for kicks
Snare for snare
This and other
Raise your toast
Spit your liqour
Eye and eye
Belly know them both
Up and over, deep and slumber
Wings return to their dragon
When the illuminated stretch
Though are loosed
So it worked out, that night I walked up to the agent at the desk and she stamped my itenerary. The woman at the help desk from the night before was glad too, she stopped what she was doing…helping some customers to ask if I had everything squared away. Walking through the hallway to the plane was a victory! This time when the plane took off I knew my body was simply acting from a remembered stress response to anxiety. just breathe and let it go. Ten hours to Ghana.
The flight attendants made it known that windows were to be closed due to the Intensity of the light from the West African sun.
Kind of private how I felt about seeing the land of Africa and the clouds over. I just felt like I was bringing my ancestors home. No one walks alone. 🙂 when the plane finally landed the drama started.again. It went like this…
I grabbed my passport pouch and must have dropped it. So while standing waiting to be ushered to the main airport I realized it was gone! The airport attendants ushered me back and forth from my bag in the building to the seat I sat in on the plane. About three times. By the third time the seats had fresh little pillows, red blankets in bags, and the magazines put back in their cubby. Check your bag again they said, so I did. Check everyting’ tak’ your time. So I did. Adrenaline. Burkina faso requires a visa upon entry from America, America requires a passport upon entry from another country. A man sat next to me, an officer at the airport, he was calm in approach and questions. He said come with me. They had me check my checked luggage. Trying my best not to sound like a smart alec I said, ” there was no way I could board a flight from america without my passport in my hand, it was on the plane.” Its not there anymore. They looked at me, some agreed I was sure. Hmmm. I must have dropped it. I thought of the blankets I covered myself with. Nothing. Then a man and woman entered the luggage area she with my passport pouch in her hand. She was holding it out looking at me. I ran up to a stranger and gave her a big excited hug. Don’t think she’d ever recieved one of those before. Lol, she got out of it and said give me 100 dollars. I looked at her like oh shit woman. Come on! She said and give him to $20 dollars, referring to the airport attendant. I grabbed my wallet gave her twenty bucks…my debit card was in there I was Uuuberly grateful. The pouch had a protecting layer in it so that none of my documents could be illegally scanned.I said I would pray for her every night. The man who was helpful to me said in a quite voice, come on lets go. He signed me into thier guest book and had me sit in a seat for the next three hours. I was so bored I didn’t know what to do. Music, no. But by then I started to notice that my body was feeling funny. Nausea, restlessness, and birping. Oooh shit.
I had to stand then sit then stand. Oh no! Then I thought maybe it was because on the flight I hadn’t had much to eat and I drank a bunch of orange juice. I didn’t know what to do. So I made a request to please let me get up and go to the main airport I needed to eat something. It had probably been a day and I hadn’t noticed because of the traveling. It still took them half an hour to let me into the main airport. But with a perk, a card which permitted me to miss most of security because I was with them the whole time. It was to verify I did only come there to go somewhere else. It’s just that my flight was later.
I found something to eat. Fried rice, i think it was. But it only intensified the feeling I had. I had to gather my strength then. I had to look well enough to get on the plane. The plane to Burkina was small and someone had dosed themselves with soo much Cologne it was nauseating. I started breathing in through the nose out through the mouth as slow as I could. Then we took off.
The Gold Mine Boys
On the plane was a man who previously in the airport I noticed wss staring at me. I sat down and looked to my right and I mean staring. He was a white man maybe in his fifties, french is what I thought. I said are you staring at me. he said he didn’t know. I got my things and went to another seat. Well well well boarded the plane and guess who had the seat next to me. It was stated on his ticket. Ahhh shit. Lol. He said he was a geologist. I thought okay geologist. He said he worked for the gold mines industry and made more money in Africa than in Canada where he was from. At the same time a conversation between two white men behind me started to really take off and what do you know they delt in the mining business as well. It was the most uncomfortable, stirring, annoying twitch moment. Men who wore thier suits and spoke of how much money they made in the business while the people whose country had the gold rightfully under the ground under their feet had a life expectancy 56 due to malnutrition and polluted water.
The man next to me was a strange fellow indeed. I looked out the window and just as I’d turned around, you guessed it he had been staring at me and mouthing something. Oh dear.
Turns out it was an hour and some flight and when we were descending to land he was nervous on the airplane and said he didn’t like that part. He was gripping the seat and covered his eyes. I thought okay, scene. I fanned him with an immigration card. No fainting allowed.
So we finally got off the snug little plane and got to the airport building. Saw my first african mozzy! In the building I had to pull it together. Look okay? I did and walked away. Then the test stand in line. I was shifting from foot to foot. Breathing slow. Got in! went to the luggage grabbed my bag…”you American!” I wish I could go back with you was the end of that statement.
I was looking for a friend of a friend. He appeared at the door. He said, “you hungry?” At that time I thought don’t mention it. I didn’t eat anything till late the next night.
Wow let me begin with…this year I felt yes I must go to Africa. I have been to South East Asia and all of these beautiful places with its residual African resemblances and yet my feet hadn’t touch the soils of Africa. I remember in Oakland there was an African centered woman who made clothes in the Lower Bottoms, I used to phone her and ride my bike to her home with lentils I intended to cook for her. She had a special place in the hearts of young black women who would visit her. She reminded me of my aunts, you went over to her house, she had a rule everybody cleans up. I found myself doing the dishes, sweeping, and helping sort out fabric. My favorite part was if we all spent the night like a mother hen she read us stories. Can you imagine us early twenty something year olds lying everywhere heads resting on their palms looking up to a woman reading passages from books she wouldn’t let you borrow nor bend.
She used to say you want to go to Africa, all you got to do is confirm it and you will go. She was right, this year I decided two things were for certain I was going to see Hornby again and I was going to go to Africa.
Went to Hornby, thats another story. Now, I’m in Africa.
I love to blog. I just haven’t come to it for a while. I am on this Island where there is so much beauty. so many stories. people say this Island is very powerful with its petroglyphs and at times fast moving tides. I have been engulfed in art and dedicated to it. devoted to it. loving it. cooking, cleaning, creating, crafting. coloring, painting, cutting, gluing. I awake every morning at 5:20 am. my dear friend sometimes stirs by the sound of the alarm. so long as I am not doing too much she is fine. my tent is decorated with shawls I have collected. my altar is set up in a perfect place. I have been dreaming by a grandmother tree.
It begins like this, I wake up and lay there for ten minutes just to orient myself. then I grab either my dream journal if I remember or my journal in which I write three pages. doesnt matter what but I am writing. then I sit up and close my eyes while staying awake for an hour. I think of nothing or I do mental exercises. meditation.
then I might grab my computer and for one hour with out stopping, no bathroom break to call my own. I write for an hour. and let it just come. some of it is personal. sometimes its a story. if its a story I pray it be medicine. Then I leave where I dream after prayer and shower. then I walk to this place called the boat house where I have been working diligently on what some may call an elaborate doll house looking structure. it is indeed a large house. it has two roofs. trim. a small door. windows that you can’t see through. I finished the inside a few days ago. now its all about the outside of it. No matter what this is what I have been working on. then I might travel to clean for extra cash. look at the sea and thank her. look at the trees and thank them. I can breathe here the air is clean I feel. not too many cars. the people are kind, funny, nice, sharing their tales and art. people love to stick art where it can go. there might be a show here or there. I eat simple food for the sake of my health. peanut butter is a treat. I think if not for eggs I have returned to being a vegan but there are sweet crepes that i can only have with a bit of honey on it. but it is sooo good. there is new music I have been collecting from a guy named Jeff who is hilarious.
So that is where I have been. I think I have been touched by art. It has shown up to help me through the days and I have decided to dedicate myself to it in gratitude and also because I am interested in it. I have been in pursuing the muse. and getting over and loving my ego. I have learned that to get over it is a great thing. and also that it comes to the rescue to make sure you know when somethings not right. so what if its just an unfairity but it is better to flush it out than to ignore it. Oh dear. I thank you Hornby. A song recently written speaks about parables and proverbs.
let go, relax, and love love love
and go live on an island
It won’t be Hornby but it will be Hawaii. I have decided that I who love the Earth, Water, Air, and Fire would appreciate sea, trees, and volcano near by. The natives of Hornby speak that Hornby is a powerful land. The people would leave during the winter and the shamans would stay. for vision.That is that for now.
Blessed Yi stepped his toes to the house of the Sorceress, who lived outside of the city limits in a dank cabin off a fertile highway and very close to a overtly dirty meadow. Avoiding his reflection in the mirror by her door, he thought twice about knocking or ringing the very worn bronze bell on the splintered wooden porch. Cracked red paint and the precision of a scent of something with many spices caught his sensory attention. This Sorceress had a reputation above par with many people. Yi had overheard some stories with her as its subject in some communities where he ventured. Someone would speak in a quiet knowing tone, of a woman in the woods very close to the city with miraculous healing abilities, who had seen their own grandparents before them. When Yi heard this he knew he could use such potent guidance.
He had never met her, this sorceress, before, but was astonished by tales of her and partly fear crept into his breath as he walked to her screen. How quickly his chest rose and succumbed, and rose and barely succumbed to a normal motion of inhalation and exhalation. The abnormality made his head swarm with a high and then a pain, but he thought of that particular faith of his and remained steadfast on his intent to see her. “Come in!”, she yelled . He nearly jumped. I wish Yi knew that he was feeling a particular kind of emotion for a particular kind of reason.
She was dressed up from head to toe in the body of a young man complete with nappy brown chest hair and cotton black boxer shorts that did no justice to cover the happy trail, and a bit too big for the private parts. The belly button jewel she wore shined a dull light in the dimmed daylight stream still seeping into the house, the sun was on its way to setting. Yi was expecting to see the person that matched the voice. Yet in his heart of hearts he knew this person before him was her, and he was subdued by a comfortable grasp in the air around him that made him think twice about moving too quickly. Yi was a smart man and although he knew he was no match for this magos, Yi also knew that too many movements spoke louder than words and if she could read him, of which he had no doubt, she might read something he hadn’t meant to share.
“What can I help you with, Yi?”, she asked with a lightness, as though she could give it to him on a plate from her pots strongly smelling up the house. “I’ve come for your guidance in how to calm the city. How can I get them to be quiet, to have peace?” he said, “…the city is so loud.”
“Well Yi,” she said, “…dirty coins make change no matter how shiny the nickels look.” “Besides, it’s only a program, Yi, and some of them there get touchy when you try to change their programming.” “Maybe the question could be, and this is only a suggestion, how do you stop yourself from being so loud?” His heart began to speed again as he noticed she was not looking directly at his face, but completely and without shame, at his body.
Yi’s stomach shuddered. “You feel that Yi?” said the sorceress, “you take away their comfort which they have grown up with and they might want to fight for it.”
“Why are your eyes so red?” she asked. “I’ve been burning my tongue,” he said. “With my pipe.” He pulled it from behind his ear to show it to her. “Oh!” she replied, “Now you know how words feel.”
“Watch this.” she said. She climbed the walls of the ceiling and hung upside down till her male bodied shell turned the familiar female shape and she slept like a bat with her feet to the sky. Yi stood at first with the lie of confusion in his midst, but in his stomach he knew their meeting was over. He went over in his head what she had said to him and tried to make more sense out of something he felt sounded too simple.
Yi bid the sorceress farewell and stepped on the road again leading farther away from the metropolis.
He came upon a path of yelling, playing, babies and toddlers. They were alone near a deserted overgrown highway. Thickets of vines grew close by the road and the area in which they played was filled with johnson, orchard, and bermuda grasses, as though it was once a place used heavily for the cultivation of something, he wasn’t sure. He did notice that the wildflowers blowing in the wind must be coming from the south, he thought, something he learned in his days of being a sailor at sea.
The babies and toddlers ran through these high grasses, some leaping like frogs and some running as fast as cheetahs and some laughing while running through trees. They turned themselves into vapors so as not to disturb the trees, then back into chubby or thin complex solids. Yi’s very mind was blown so well it hurt his head to see these fascinating images.
“We are the munchkin patrol.” The voice came from a little person as jovial as Yi has ever heard, and he turned to stare down into the tangled matted hair of a girl child who wiped her mouth of leaves and picked petals from her ears. Yi knelt on the ground to be eye level with her. He was honored to be spoken to by, and seeing clearly what appeared to be either dieties, demigods, but certainly a group of mental pedagogues. “What does the munchkin patrol do?” he asked. “We garden.” she said. “What is it that you garden?” he asked. “We plant seeds!” she said, her smile spreading almost into a wicked smirk. She was leading him somewhere and was excited about his questions because that’s how he was going to get to where she was pulling him, he knew.
“We water the seeds, we harvest the fruits, and keep the peace.” “Where is your harvest?” asked Yi. “You’re reaping it,” she said. “What seeds do you plant?” he asked. “You’re speaking them,” she said. “Where is the water?” he said. She spit in the air and said, “There!” Before her saliva touched the ground, it flashed into the clear hue of blue.
“What do you want Yi?”, she asked. “I want to stop the noise in the city”, he said. “You wouldn’t lie to a munchkin now would you, Yi? I don’t think you know how to care about their crying and carrying on… seems to me you might be conditioned to be emotionally stupid. Maybe a good fruit for you,” she said, as she held out her hand to produce a purple apple, “is to see the treasure in your own silence. Then you will be a BIG HELP!” she yelled. She clapped her hands and jumped up and down. “Importance can be tricky, Folly! Folly! Yi! You think you’re exempt from making the noise when you’re so loud yourself. Let them play! never stop them from playing.”
Suddenly the munchkin patrol turned to Yi and he could see now that they had surrounded him in a circle. How long they were standing there in that formation he wasn’t sure, but he was intimidated but relaxed. The tone of her voice was as a child’s and he had a feeling by the way they acted, with the trees running wildly through them and not destroying anything, that they would not touch a hair on his body in a disrespectful manner. Then they ran towards him with all the speed their little legs could muster and spit on the ground, and just as Yi fell on his knees to the earth to cover himself, yelling out loud for the anticipated crash, they dissipated, and the scent of ocean water went with them.
Yi had certainly seen quite a bit between the two meetings in this one day. First, with a Sorceress who clothed her self in the bodies of both sexes and yet never really intruded on his being. She even stated her intent to suggest something to him without suggesting it before pronouncing her impressions. Then there was the munchkin patrol, these wild children who obviously were more interested in playing than taking him seriously. Their intent had nothing to do with him but everything to do with their fun. Maybe, he thought, he did take himself too seriously, neurotically thinking he was so important that people thought cunningly what they would do to him to try to hurt him, instead of going on in their own worlds with their own things living and letting him live peacefully as they wanted to live. He thought about his trust of people and things working out in his favor. He took that knowledge in, like the smoke from his pipe as he sat on the grass still relieved and able to inhale. Yi stood and walked further south from the region.
He heard a voice shout,“Sir, can I just talk to you for a minute? Just your ears for a moment.”
“What is it?” asked Yi. “Brother, it’s my eyes. Sometimes I see just fine, then there are times when I feel that I’m just waking up after just having been awake, or so I thought. I just need to ask you something.” “What’s that?” asked Yi.
“Are you real?”
Yi laughed, “Last I checked, I was”.
“Well, said the elder man, a straw tattered hat on his head, jeans on his legs, a worn t-shirt on his chest, and most noticeably, the largest black eyes you have ever seen, “It’s this here river that you’re walking on, I fish here all the time, I know where you’re standing, there are no rocks for you to step on.” Yi looked down at his toes in a quick passing moment of disbelief, until he realized it was true, he was standing in the middle of the river and must have been walking along it for a while. He started walking toward the boat, but in an instance of hesitation he fell into the water. “Sir!” yelled the fisherman. “Grab hold of this!” He threw an oar over the side of the boat for Yi. “You can walk on water but you cant swim!” The elder man laughed till he held his sides from what looked like a joyful aching. “I can too swim!” said Yi, with defiance, “and if you want me to listen to you, don’t tell me something I can’t do!” Now even Yi realized his discontent for being told he couldn’t do something , when he felt he could do anything after what he had seen throughout the day. He calmed after his revelation.
“Touchy, touchy,” said the elder fisherman. “Let me tell you something ,Yi,” the man said, with a clear sense of belief in himself, “I like you.” He starting pointing his finger at Yi as he spoke, spitting at times when using certain letters. Some folks indeed do get touchy when you try to destroy their programming, and some are still trying to break the codes, and get touchy if you remind them that they ever had a program in the first place. “Well, now that I know that you’re real you can keep the boat,” said the fisherman as he stepped out and walked away. “I didn’t want to give a phantom a boat, might creep some folks out,” he said, raising his shoulders and making a surprised face. Yi stared at the man as he went off into the woods along the beach. He heard him still laughing to himself long after he disappeared from sight.