I lay in bed this morning, watching the breeze flutter the leaves outside my window. Just like home. Nearby the mosquito netting billowed … ever so softly. The hush flowing through the tree was familiar. So was the growling of my stomach.
But then there’s all the rest …
Around 2:00 the morning before, I awoke to a choir of male voices, singing melody and harmonies in another language. Within the fogginess, I wondered if this was real. I still don’t know.
At 6:30 am or so, an hour before sunrise, another song is sung. The Muslim imam climbs the steps of the Toubacouta mosque and begins his long nasal notes. No words come to my ears but the tune easily enters in. There’s no doubt a holy message wafting over the village as he calls the faithful to prayer.
A piercing tone comes. It has to be man-made. It sounds so mechanical, like one of those kids’ whistles that squeals at different pitches as you work the plunger. But fear not … it’s completely natural – a bird unknown to North Americans. And unseen by this one.
Roosters and chickens make themselves known throughout the day. I’m able to make animal sounds, such as horses, cows, sheep, dogs, cats and assorted feathered creatures. Yesterday afternoon, I sat on Jo and Lydia’s patio and called back to the scurrying birds. The roosters looked confused. My fellow humans laughed.
Goats are everywhere in Toubacouta. Short little bleats come and go in the air. The brayings of the many wild donkeys last longer and somehow bring to mind science fiction novels. No doubt Stephen King could make good use of a few of them in his pages.
While dozing this morning, I was assaulted by raucous clapping. It sounded like The Price Is Right was happening outside my door. I haven’t seen any TVs in Senegal and this noise sounded so foreign to the flow of life in Africa. And after only three days here, it was foreign to me.
So … the feeling of home is broadening. It’s not about a particular continent, a particular culture. It’s where I can sink into, whatever the sounds around me.
Just like home.