Most of the â€˜non-majorâ€™ roads here are dirt roads, many of them red. When you turn off the North-South highway to head to village, you are on just such a road. Approximately six kilometers later you stumble upon my village after passing three other villages, the last one 2-3 kilometers away. The house I live in is on the back edge of the village, so when I get up in the mornings I can slip out of the house, greet a minimal number of people, and head for a nice walk down the red dirt road. This allows me time to stretch my legs, see the land and the fields, think, and be refreshed. It took a long time for people to understand what I was doing, but it is an expected and known thing now, and it seems to make people smile.
With the recent trips and training further away, I have not been out on my road nearly as much in the past two weeksâ€”it is precious time I have missed. There are always people headed to farm that I greet along the way, and sometimes there are kids that fall in line along beside and behind me. Today I saw three little friends that have taken to a new, fun practice when we happen upon each other in the mornings.
When they see me they start running to be the first one there and open there arms wide. They then get a hug as they are twirled in the air. Whether they are the first one, the last one, or the middle one to arrive, they all get this treatâ€”a treat on our red dirt road that I believe we will all miss during the coming year.
[editor’s (a friend) note: i do not believe this posting contains any allusions (other than the title) to the catchy country song “red dirt road.” this belief, however, has not stopped the song from playing repeatedly through my brain as i read the blog. i wonder if other readers will endure the same mental radio…]