Peace Corps (Chad) – July 26, 2015

 

lalay lalay
children greet the teacher
the school in Lai

gas cooled fridge
Coleman lamp and candles
her house in Lai

sitting in the yard
girls singing and sewing
making friends

cooking on charcoal
making peanut butter soup
visitor from Sarh

Peace Corps kids
living rough in Africa
surrounded by love
learning another life
under the Chadian sun

There were very few white people outside the major cities of Chad when I lived there between 1975 and 1979, among them were the Peace Corps kids.  In the villages the government had put at their disposition a house and the elders of the village put up a straw matted fence, for privacy.  They had not generators for electricity like the Protestant and Catholic missionaries or the members of international development organizations, but they did have a gas run refrigerator, which I always found fascinating.  They often didn’t know the local language, though most of them spoke French, but by the time they left the village they spoke it fairly well.

When the Peace Corps workers, or indeed any outsider, rolled into town on a “taxi bruousse*” the kids would jump around shouting “lalay lalay”.  The Peace Corps workers were usually well loved, more than some missionaries I guess because the kids weren’t trying to convert or subvert anyone to their way of thinking, they were there to help out in their small way.  They taught kids how to read, sewing and sometimes they helped dig wells and irrigation ditches.

learning about life
outside their golden palace
Peace Corp workers

© G.s.k. ‘15

* a pickup that travels around the country-side picking up paying customers

Carpe Diem Special #158 Adjei Agyei Baah’s 5th special “Afrikuland”

Visions of Tchad – haiku – July 26, 2015

Visions of Tchad (Chad)

pitter patter
rain falls on the tin roof
dry season past

puddles in the sun
children splash and laugh
after the rain falls

old woman
walking with her daughter
carrying water

baby on her back
young girl beats the millet
for the evening meal

happy singing
someone plays the balafon
under the full moon

new scars on his face
now he is a  grown man
initiation

young girl
time to become a woman
bloody razor blade

© G.s.k. ‘15

 

Written for:

Carpe Diem Special #158 Adjei Agyei Baah’s 5th special “Afrikuland”

Afriku by Adjei Agyei Baah:

in his world alone
a water strider resting
on his shadow bed

filling her dimples
with strawberries
summer camp

midsummer blues–
the wild memories of
a skirt-chaser

© Adjei Agyei-Baah, Ghana

For more Afriku, here is the Link to Adjei Agyei-Baah’s  “Afrikuland

Haiku Special – “Summer Morning” by Adjei Agyei Baah – July 9, 2015

Summer morning:

summer sun
all in her eyes
the ocean, sand and nudity!

(c) Adjei

Gulls

Gulls

my haiku attempt:

early sunrise
promising new day
lake, birds and wind-chimes!

dancing on the wind
the gulls glide gracefully
morning on the lake

all in her eyes
wind dancing gulls
this promising new morning

© G.s.k. ‘15

Written for:

Carpe Diem Haiku Special where we try to write in the the same sense, tone and spirit of a guest poet.