The Afterlife

Soon I’ll be uploading posts from the past month. Stories that have been pushed back to the far recesses of my brain while I focused on making sure my loved ones survived.

I wanted them to not only survive, but to also experience Ethiopia as I know it. The good, the bad, and the ugly; the beautiful and the bleak. Overwhelmingly, they did.

But first, while its still fresh in my mind, I’ll tell you about tonight.

Right now she’s packing up her things from my house. If you know her, that means she is cooking spaghetti, painting, uploading pictures, editing videos and occasionally putting things in her duffel bag.

We had a simple night tonight. The power was out. So was the running water. Such is life in Bonga.

These circumstances force you to live life as it once was lived. As it should be lived. And how it has been lived for thousands of years. Cramped, sticky, sun burnt, thirsty. Stuck in a single room and forced to learn from each other. Privacy becomes a foreign concept. In places and times like this, the individual fades and a collective identity forms. Family is everything, friendship is real and selfishness is not an option.

It was a perfect night. Nothing happened. Nothing insightful or profound. It was an average day in my life, spent with someone far from average.

Carly sketched a painting. I took a nap. We cooked a homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch. We used Olive Oil and spices from my brothers town in France. We used tomatoes and Garlic from my neighbors garden. We watched the sun go down from my window.

I remember a scene from the Green Mile. Tom Hanks, a prison guard was talking to a Native American about to be executed. The prisoner told Tom a story about his perfect day. He asked him if heaven meant living this day over again. Tom (as only he can) replied, “I just so happen to believe that very thing.”

Today was that day. We hiked through the rainforest to the waterfall. The sun lighting up my room and some music gave my house perfect vibes. Home-cooked food, the feeling of home, and hugs. It was a timeless night. It still is. I wish today lasted forever. Its my heaven.

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