A Day Gone By

The two goats stop outside my door to eat the chinese cabbage ends I threw on the ground last night while cooking dinner. The female crunches away at them, happy and oblivious to my presence a foot away. The male tries one, spits it out, moves further away to eat some weeds. I pause in my book. The warm morning sun, the crunching. Peaceful in its own way. Until I move, and she notices me and runs off again.

At the clinic there are crowds of people sitting outside on the ground. Groups of 8 or 10. They sit on chitenges, not doing anything, waiting for something. There’s no program today, and I would be surprised if they were all patients, but when I go inside I learn what’s going on.

“That child. You know the one with the convulsions? I called an ambulance for him,” my counterpart says. “It’s his third time here since April. I thought he should go to the boma.
The kid is two years one month old. If he goes to the boma hospital he can be treated properly for epilepsy, if that is what is going on. The ambulance was called two hours ago and still has yet to appear.

I woke up at 6:30 this morning. I laid on my couch, listening to stand up on my speaker until the sun was high enough to be warm. I sat outside reading. I lit my brasier, did my dishes, made some coffee, made skillet corn bread. I ate my leftovers from dinner last night: chinese cabbage with eggs, and rice.

From the clinic I go to the school. The nutrition program that was supposed to be today has been moved to friday. I go home, sit on my couch. Eat half an avocado, some of the corn bread. Read my book. A chicken leads her chicks into my hut. They snoop around for a while before i bother to shoo them out.

A community health worker comes by. We discuss the program we have plans for. We talk about his daughter. She has finished grade twelve, she wants to learn about health, he says. He has no money to keep sending her to school, he says. We decide she will sit with us while we plan our program, and help with ones in the future. He teaches me some new words. I go back to my couch.

I think of things I could do, things I should do. I sit here. I should mend my pants, make some pillows for my couch, draw something for my wall, go for a run. I sit. Some goats come by, look in the doorway, walk away.

Nearby somebody plays music. I can hear the sounds of my neighbor starting water for baths. The music turns up. The sun fades its intensity.

A day gone by. Productive in its own way. Quiet, calm in its own way, too.

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2 thoughts on “A Day Gone By”

  1. Jenna, I love the cadence and texture of your writing. Your thoughtfulness and reflections open doors for us all. Thank you. – Mara

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