I woke up at 3am yesterday and couldn't figure out why, but then realized that my eye mask had slipped and there was so much lightning brightening the sky that it almost looked like day time. It was incredible. I could hear the wind picking up, rushing through the leaves of the tree outside and throwing gritty gusts of dirt against the tin roof. So I shut the windows, grabbed my pagne, and went outside to look. It was like something out of Fantasia – all it needed was a Beethoven symphony with lots of kettle drums to match the continuous rumble of the thunder. You couldn't see any individual bolts, but different bands and banks of the clouds along the eastern horizon would light up in succession, then all at once, back and forth like they were part of a call and respond song. It was even light enough to take pictures, so I did, but right before I went back to sleep as the rain was just starting to fall I realized I should have taken a video. It was amazing, I've never seen anything like it before.
It's been a pretty nice weekend, really. I thought it was going to rain yesterday so I was kind of lazing about, but then the sun came out so I got water and did my laundry. Just as I'd finished and was deciding if I was hungry or not for lunch, Ilias knocked on my gate. I was surprised to see him, but he didn't admonish me too much for not calling, and he came in and sat down. He stayed for about 3 hours, just talking while I did my chores, but it wasn't bad to have company, even if that company sometimes repeats himself several times, asks if you're listening and understanding, calls women cowards, and asks what you're going to feed him for lunch. I warned him that I wasn't going to cook until I got hungry, and he said it was alright, he'd already had lunch, he was just still not quite full. Boys. He passed his BAC, although he got a 6/20 on the English section. He's excited to spend the summer in Ouaga, and starts school in December at the University of Ouaga to study medicine. In the meantime I weeded my yard, did my dishes, took down clothing as it dried, swept the house and patio, and translated English song lyrics for him into French so he'd know what they actually meant. Thankfully he didn't ask for translations for anything that I wouldn't want to translate! We talked about music for a while, which was fun. He saw my book and asked about it, and if I knew how to read. In French and in English? Yes, I know how to read, in both, although English is easier being my first language and all. Oh really? Yes, really.
After he left, Drissa came over for a few minutes, but it was mostly to say hello and tell me about his week at the mine. Then I could shower and yoga – I've figured out that it's a lot easier to do tree pose if it's still light out, but by the time I'm finishing the stars are all out. I saw three shooting stars while I was stretching! One was particularly bright – it was beautiful. I hope I never stop feeling that jolt of happy surprise when I see one. Speaking of tree pose, I not only have finally gotten to the point of holding my foot against my thigh (instead of my calf), but I can hold it almost to a count of 20 before I start to fall over! :D It's the little things here.
Today has been lovely and lazy. I've written some emails, I've read a little, I've drunk tea, I've greeted a few people walking by on their way to church or their fields. I just talked to my mom, and very jealous of the fun they're having in Florida. I'm sitting in the shade on a sunny warm day, so why can't I quite convince myself that my courtyard dirt is as enticing as the ocean waves?
I think there are little red birds living in my secco, the woven straw covering my hangar. I'm ok with this – they're pretty cute. I wonder if birds eat flies? I seem to have a lot of them in my yard, it would be awesome if the birds would eat them.
I think it's time for another cup of tea and some yoga before it gets too dark for me to find my balance. Leaving for Ouaga tomorrow!