Place Where You Live:

Ngorongoro, Tanzania

Lost in an African Village

If home were a color it would be green. Soft like the field outside a dew covered windowsill, or your grandparents faded, velvet pillows. At the last corner of the earth lives a village, that welcomes strangers into their homes to feed their bellies with food and souls with cultural stories.

The foreign smell of adventure permeates through the air. No water, no electricity, and no connection to the world other than the one in my hands. It isn’t lonely at night; the stars are my company. They shine against the undisturbed darkness brighter than any; a velvety black dress with dancing pearls. Bumps in the dirt roads keep me from daydreams, just as the cackles of hyenas keep me from nightmares.

The dancing of mice on the roof of the school classroom wake me from the sweetest dreams. It is already warm in the early winter days of Tanzania. I sway with the wind of the Ngorongoro mountains and sing to the coffee beans who hide in their green overcoats—it’s too cold out for them.

I listen with open ears and watched with wide eyes, wandering down the red dusted hills. I hear the fluidity of their language, their contagious laughter, and echoes of each footstep. The wind calls the kids to play.

The first days I met her were the last together. Peeking out from behind her sister, I introduce myself to Love. We unite with our minds rather than our lips in different languages. When she laughs, she hiccups. I spin her and flip her over just to see her gap-toothed smile.

As I carry Love home from the hours of tag and tickling, she holds me tight. I try and set her free but the precious butterfly doesn’t want to fly away.

The moon left us in stranded in the dark with only the glow of the stars to guide us. It arose late, crying, with an orange face from tears that stained it. I listen to the whispers of the wind to guide me home.