In Niger, there is an expression to describe the heat, one’s fatigue or another unpleasantry: C’est le temps – It is the moment.
It took me sometime to view this state as more than a gesture for life’s annoyances but it makes sense in an experience.
Today, I was searching for names and numbers to fill out an emergency locator form for the Peace Corps. Most of it was fairly simple but I needed one more name under a certain section. I found one man but he was uninterested in helping me so I went to look for another. After pitifully explaining my need, a man led me to another who could help me but didn’t speak French. I wanted to cry right there on the street, but held it together long enough for someone to walk by could translate. Again, I spit out rough French that the man barely understood, but he did and I retrieved the information I needed.
After this incident, I wanted to go home and cry, but decided not to dwell on this small failure and went to one of the schools to watch some boys play soccer. Wearing orange and green (Niger’s colors), the long men floated balls through the air, commanding it in different directions and speeds with their feet. They are the most skilling players I’ve seen in person.
Against the sun-setting African trees and bush landscape, these boys put together a stereotypical athletic image of Africa. In fact, I’m sure I saw this same image in “Sport’s Illustrated’s” World Cup Issue.
But stereotypical or not, the scrimmage on sand erased my worries as the boys said hello during in between plays. I fell into a peaceful state and again thankful for my presence in this country.
Africa, on more than one occasion, has taught me that worry and doubt don’t last long here. Each day is moment to moment and you may have not so good moments but a great on will come eventually.
It makes no sense and brings a terrible disposition, to worry about the last moment or the next. We are guaranteed this moment so why not be present or it. Yes, some are better than other, but they hard ones make life enjoyable and worth the patience to get to the next.
One of these days, I won’t need Africa’s “c’est le temps” reminder but, for now, I’ll continue to learn from it ant the moment.