February 24, 2008

The Shoe

Today walking to town for a language lesson from school, I was taking a back path that avoids the main road. It goes through two deep gullies and cuts across many fields. I had crossed gulley number one and had my hat tied up tight. The wind was howling and to the south huge dust walls were blowing in (from the direction of the corral- imagine scarred land from large head of cattle in one area over a long period of time). I was making pretty good time when, my shoe broke! This is the second pair I’ve ‘snapped’ out here. So there I was- with a long trail ahead of me either way I looked. I turned for home and cut through still uncleared fields- dragging my foot and my shoe. I met a woman who normally begs relentlessly. She didn’t even ask “Are you going home?” (Ilosi iyo lorea?) but only “Lorea?”(Home?). It’s as though she could tell I was having a pretty bad day. As I thought of that and neared home I got so tickled. I was sliding the foot with the broken shoe along the ground to keep it from falling off. I had my head down from the wind. I must have looked like Dr. Frankenstein’s haggard assistant- with a hunch back and a lame leg. That’s one way to have a quiet walk to yourself!

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