Riding in the taxi from our home village to a teammate’s house for our time of prayer and sometimes all I can do is stare out the window at the incredible, and raw, beauty that surrounds me. Most of the ride is along the ocean, and I can’t help but watch as the waves continuously write their fleeting verses in the sand, only to wash away their previous secrets. I see dried banana leaf shacks where people will sit in the shade as they make the long walk from our village to the next, . Kids selling piles of fresh picked mangoes for what we consider pocket change (less than $1) Women sitting on short stools on the ground, grilling chicken wings and deep frying green bananas. Men, women, and children carrying fruit laden woven baskets or bunches of wood on their heads, or multiple jugs filled with water, as they walk.
On most taxi rides, I don’t talk much with other passengers, mostly because I enjoy the peace of the wind in my face, the smell of the ocean, and the scenery.
Yesterday, was different. I got into a taxi, and was the only woman. And all the men started talking at once…one talking to me, and the other 2 talking to each other about how I don’t understand what they are saying. It was funny and frustrating at the same time…they took turns trying to talk to me in French, after I clearly told them that I don’t know French. They laughed at my stumbling phrases in the local language, all the while commenting to each other how the white girl couldn’t speak the local language (which is something that I am already super self-conscious about and struggling with). I couldn’t wait to get out of that taxi.
After prayer, I caught another taxi home, and to my frustration, it was another taxi filled with only men… 🙁 I didn’t want a repeat of the previous ride, so I got in as usual, and immediately turned my face to the window only to find it broken and not able to roll down…uggh. The passengers in this taxi were different though. They started talking to me in French, and when I said I didn’t know French, they tried some stuttered English mixed with the local language. They asked polite questions and made encouraging comments about my ability to speak the local language. It turned out to be one of my favorite taxi rides, even though I didn’t have the nice cool breeze.
All that to say, I love this island, and the people here. I may not have deep friendships, or know the language well, or even know my way through the maze of neighborhoods, but as we count down the months until we get to see our family again…I already know, I’m really going to miss this place.