The distance between my house and school is a 10-minute walk, although both are considered to be in different sections of the village. I am blessed with such a short commute compared to other PCVs or many of my students who walk hours one way.
My path is just two roads and both passable by car, or relatively speaking depending on how much precipitation we’ve had that week. I walk through the city center, which consists of the police station, the main gathering area for taxis that take people three kilometers to the main road, a few tin shacks that sell airtime and snacks and a big shop with basic items, such as oil, sugar, soap, tooth paste, buckets beans and flour.
Some days, though, I like to Robert Frost it and take the offbeat route. This one is marked by a series of worn grass and dirt pathways. It leads me past people’s homes as they fix cars, hang their fresh laundry and take care of children, leading me to wonder extensively about their daily lives and what they do when I am busy at school.
I go this way, although longer, when I want something different. It is interesting how simply changing the way we go to work or come home can force new thoughts. I used to do this when I lived in Pocatello, finding new routes to alleviate the dread of going to work, which ultimately was solved by getting a new job. Or when I lived in downtown Sioux Falls and commuted to Brookings. I experimented with different series of roads leading to the interstate to find the fastest that would allow for a few extra minutes of sleep.
In village, though, I am not looking for quick or even a change of attitude, just a reminder of how great this place is. And when I do take that less direct route and I am struck with the notion that I live in a village, a beautiful one at that, and I will likely never live in a village again. That is pretty unique. It gives me a fresh sense of blessing and renewed spirit for this life.