Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rude awakening

July 14th

*bam!bam!bam* “Jess-si-ka! Jess-si-ka!” *bam!bam!bam!* I had no idea what time it was but it was clearly very early, the sky was light but the sun hadn't come up yet, and someone was pounding on my gate and yelling my name very insistently. My mind jumped immediately to the worst – is someone dead? A house on fire? Civil unrest so bad we needed to leave immediately? The people threatening my pharmacist have come to make some kind of example of the rest of us? I ungracefully fumbled my way out of my bughut, grabbing a pagne to wrap around myself as I headed for my door, yelling “J'arrive!” to the person who was continuing to yell and bang. I opened the gate to find Belem's son. I don't actually remember the exact words that were said, I was very hyped on a surge of adrenaline. I remember him telling me that he was Belem's son and thinking I know that, I see you every day! He said he was there to ask for moringa seeds. It took my mind a moment to get a grip on that. Not an emergency. No one died. He wants seeds. At a time of day when any sane American who went to bed past midnight should clearly still be asleep. I do remember my reaction, not quite yelling but very loudly asking “Now? What time of morning is it?” and him replying that Belem wanted them, she was going on a trip. I couldn't come up with a good reply to that in French, I just wanted to go back to sleep, so I stumbled into my house, threw a handful of seeds and a booklet in French into a black sachet lying on my counter, and handed it to him with a “Bon voyage” before getting back in my bed and calming my heart rate enough to go to sleep. I think I sent an irate text to Sunyata, as no one else in my phone would be awake at what I later discovered was 5:30am.

Honestly, 5:30 isn't an entirely unreasonable time to expect someone to be awake, but I'm pretty sure it's not very nice to be disturbing people that early regardless of if they're awake or not. I feel bad for being harsh with him, I've thought of several better ways of dealing with the situation, but I maintain that she still should have sent him over last night instead of scaring the bejezus out of me this morning. I'll go apologize when I get water tomorrow.

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