I decided to take my reentry into village slow. My first bush taxi ride back was hot and sweaty but nothing abnormal. The second ride took just as long but we went half the distance. Arriving during what I call the hot hour, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., I held off unpacking and socializing.
Leaving Zinder this morning was hard. The anxiety sifted through my body leading me in a sluggish state. That attitude grew during me taxi rides and arriving at my house. It had rained fairly hard one day while I was absent. With a house made of mud, dirt coated much of my belongings and sloppy-painted walls. My bags needed to be sorted, my bed set up and everything needed a good washing. Yet, I took a nap.
I didn’t sleep well in Niamey. All of my stag — at the time 29, now 28 — a chunk of my sister stag where all in town for the memorial. At the same time, the 2008-2010 AgNerm volunteers were holding their close of service conference and a there was a meeting for all the regional volunteers leaders. All of us staying under the same roof made it hard to get bed and some quite time. Two nights, I slept because I was one of the last to go to sleep. Even if the mosquitoes were not determined to keep me awake, my mind was. My body and being were exhausted when I did make it back to village.
After an unsuccessful attempt to reenergize, I knew I needed to make an appearance in my village and I brought a gift for my host family that I wanted to deliver. My presence beyond my mud walls drew a crowd. As it turns out, they hadn’t forgotten about me. They greeted me with “Sai Hankuri”. “Ahamedllye”, or thank God, I replied.
Without knowing my situation or me, they understood. They knew the only way to beat pain and suffering is wait it out and thank God for the ability to do so.
Our chat ended with a sudden rainstorm. The clean water from the sky wiped way the heat and presented something new.
It was a fresh start, or a restart.