John sent me some of his photos from his trip to Africa, and I couldn’t help thinking back to the days when I’d walked the Sahel in Chad. Of course, he’d been to Tanzania, the young woman depicted had little to do with the young Chadian women I’d seen, except maybe for the eyes. Eyes illuminated with the pleasure of life. Eyes that had a dreamy quality of fulfillment.
The life of an African woman, isn’t easy. She gets up at dawn, goes fetch the water, which can even be quite a long ways away and after carrying the heavy jug on her head comes back and lights the fire to boil that water to make millet gruel, then maybe she starts pounding the millet with friends. They sing as they work, oh and if she has a child, the child is slung on her back with a shawl made for that purpose…well maybe not, but it works well keeping the baby close and protected. Every so often she sits back in the shade to feed the child. The days go on, cooking, singing, cleaning and taking care of her youngest children perhaps with the help of the older daughters, if she has them.
Sahel winds whisper
women go about their days