Some days, 200 pounds is not 200 pounds

Dredging out of the village snapping a trail of peanut shells, I feel we are marking the way out of Minotaur’s Labyrinth.

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As much as I identify with Henry Rollins’ piece, the Iron and the Soul, I found during this past trip to the village that some days, 200 pounds is simply not 200 pounds.  On days when the sun is so hot you feel your skin is melting, you’ve not slept the night before due to the market day’s debauchery, and your knees are aching from just having descended the cliff which now must be ascended in return, 15km is not 15km.

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Shouting to elicit a semblance lexical paradigms, not only because the speaker is aged, but because of the lull in the rains has given way to binge drinking among the villagers to ‘ease the sourness of the heart’ by day is only soothed by the children who sit up at night beneath a planetarium of stars, telling each other tales, falling off benches with laughter.

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Watching different animal species interact is a fascinating pastime when there are none of the usual media distractions.  A dog emerging from beneath a granary chasing a chicken who has by mistake wandered too close to her puppies, or another dog being intimidated by a sheep.

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I was enamored with this bright-eyed, charming child from the moment I saw him, only later to find out that the reason he is still being carried on the back is because he is unable to walk.  His name is Aziz.  Your prayers and thoughts are requested and appreciated.

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If the iron is not a steady state then what is?  Upon reaching the village from the cliff descent into the valley, one consistently drunk old woman who claims her intelligence has been diminished from her alcohol consumption stomps both feet like a soldier and shouts repeatedly, ‘un deux trois’, but sometimes she misses a number so that it comes out, ‘un deux quatre!’  It is an endearing and most appropriate welcome.  When she complains about her lack of ability to think straight, she need only be reminded how impressive it is that she actually recalls some French from the bygone colonial era.  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Maybe that is a truer consistency of life.

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