Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Walking to Work
My walk to work (a.k.a teaching the Pittman kids) starts a few minutes before 8 each morning. I say goodbye to my "host mom," then open the gate and exit their compound. The walls around each house would probably be the most noticable thing to foreigners. Some of the walls are tall and carefully built of colored stone, while others are merely crooked lines of dried mud bricks.
Every wall has a gate of course, and those vary too; each day I walk past purple, red, blue, green, and white gates. Some of these gates are quite fancy, with intricate scrolling and detail, while others are plain and need a new coat of paint.
As you can imagine, the walls and gates, and sudden twists and turns of the roads make for a confusing route: at first it seemed like a maze! In time, however, the landmarks make it a familiar and easy path.
The landmarks include: a busy road (i.e. is paved and has cars driving down it); a narrow alleyway with saplings peeping over the wall lining one side; and a sort of "square," which is more like a pentagon. Later on, the cow that always stands right in the middle of the road in the same spot; an "Apteka," or pharmacy; and a mosque. Near the end of my journey, 3 piles of rocks (stones, gravel, and sand); an old army truck that never moves and always has chickens grazing underneath; a creek to hop over; stone steps to climb; and the shepherd who pokes at his flock with a stick while yelling to someone on his cellphone.
So far, I've enjoyed my morning and afternoon walk. The morning air is cool and fresh, and best of all, the mountains are a light pink from the rising sun. I love to pray for the people I pass by, or if there is no one, to listen to a favorite sermon or song. The quiet is the perfect time to process all that is going on in this new world of mine.