Thursday, December 1, 2011

Part I Mangoes from Umbilical Cords

All right. Seems this blog'll be three parts.

Part #1: 6 hr. trip to Beira diary
Part #2: Whale Shark Diving (& a poem)
Part #3: Return to the USA

As always I'll try and keep it succinct. ;)

1. Beira. I've hated this long ass journey since having to take it while desperately seeking medication to treat the scabies attack that had turned my body to that of a sunburned lizard. The packed conditions then seemed less then charming. This particular morning, I lucked out and was taking the comparatively spacious bus. Despite it being 530am the driver began blasting rock and roll hits like Bryan Adams. He told me it should make me feel at home. This long journey always puts me in touch with the experience of living in a different country. Apart from food, road/train/boat/& plane trips are great ways of reading a culture, the best reason to travel.

Here's an excerpt from my journal...some of it illegible for the bumping.


Like the rain, the music comes
whether I like it or not
the notes work on me, like scalpels on
an anesthetized patient

The termite mounds
the houses the color of earth
the mango trees promise fruit

the confident smile of the pregnant mother
concentrated on the life inside her

the upside down chickens
the papaya trees no longer look ridiculous
and black muscles
stand out through tatter windows

the sky gave us rain the other day
salving the ground
the women open it with their hoes

Dogs with ribs jump out from in front of the bus - a pathetic look on their face: "Why me?"
mangoes hang from umbilical cords
once they were too many
now they're a gift

baby goats like toys
papaya trees seem dignified
banana groves isolated and shocked, parched
termite mounds as tall as the banana trees

the house's baby blue door
musters all the color it can
women sitting in the house's yard, gathered, enduring

The respectable gentleman in blue button down coat
Newsboy cap and red sunglasses sits across from me
The elderly husband smacks his young (2nd wife?)'s arm
Her breast hangs out for her crying infant to take
He wears a baseball cap with confederate flag and motto: 'Get R Done.'
His child looks at me wide eyed
drinking in the muzungu (that's me)

a baboon in a bare tree high up, distant
a baboon large as a dog turns to the bus' honk
bored, probably thinking about food

boy selling goat kebabs
a half side of goat hoisted to the high window, rejected
We pass a sign for the 'God Exists' pharmacy
Our bus is surrounded by vendors
Surely the white man will buy something!

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