On my final countdown in Togo and I decided to head to the bar across the street. I don’t make it more than 5 steps before a plastic bag wraps around my ankle. I am disgusted by these little black bags that litter the streets. It’s more than just “pollution is bad”!! I mean, pollution is never good and it really grinds my gears to see people littering, but I once saw a young mother making her toddler poo in one of these black bags on the side of the road before tying it up and chucking it back on the curbside. Sooooo, naturally you can imagine what my mind goes straight to when I step on one of these mystery black bags. Using the curbside as a public restroom is one thing I just can’t get used to. I have seen way too many stranger’s private parts, BOTH male and female. I’m pleased people have such high confidence but could they just entertain me for once and pretend to hide or least, at the very very least, could they not just face AWAY from the traffic?
I crossed the road just in time to miss the black hatchback being chased by what I’m sure was over 30 bikes. I’m not sure how he thought he could outrun motorbikes on pothole infested roads but it was sure something to see. Fortunately for moi, I know the bartender here so this little stickybeak should have all the gossip of the latest chase within the hour. Always make reliable local friends, it continuously proves handy for much more than just where to go and eat.
I hear the praying calls in the distance. I quite enjoy them, and yes even when it’s sooo early that the sun hasn’t even gone up yet. They are soothing, I’m not sure why, cause I don’t’ know the first thing about praying calls other than how they sound and that they happen several times a day, but I find them soothing nonetheless. It’s also a great way for me to ensure I’m never late for my morning run. I hear the praying call, wake up and get going! If all these people can dedicate this much time for praying, surely, I can get my lazy butt out of bed and go jogging!
Running seems to be the only successful way to disconnect for just a short moment. In Togo, my emotions are pretty much a smoothie blend of just won a million dollars, with a dash of pregnant and craving bacon while the world is having a bacon shortage topped off with menopause far too early. I’m to the point where I’m not sure how to react.
Why is that woman beating that dog? Seriously, while it’s tied on a leash?? How about I tie you up and beat you!!! Who is looking after this toddler wandering the chaotic streets with a machete in his hands? – and yes I did see that happen.. Can you stop throwing your F*****g litter on the streets? Why are the kids on the motorcycles without helmets? Please stop calling me the “white”! No, having sex without a condom will not infect you with a disease, INFACT it will do the opposite! Why does that kid have no shoes, can’t you see all the garbage everywhere? Why are these kids not in school? Who is this kid working for? Am I more upset that a child has just died, or am I upset that no one seems to care?
I think, I think and I think some more. I’m either REALLY happy, REALLY sad or REALLY f*****g mad! I think you get the point. So I run! I run fast and I run far, I put in my earphones, I blast my music, I put on dark sunglasses and I run – and yes, sometimes I cry while I run because my emotions are on a constant roller-coaster that is meant to teach me something and allow me to grow and perhaps grow-up! So here I am.
I am now the proud mother of 71 children and probably another 50 around the neighbourhood. They are all amazing. I can’t get mad at any of them. Because I just want to see them smile all the time. I want to build them a big protective bubble and promise them all that they will never be hurt, sad, hungry or sick. Does anyone know where I can get an everything proof bubble? I really, really need one or maybe a few more.
I pack the last things in my bag, contemplate maybe “forgetting” to publish this post out of fear it may be “too much” and try to focus all my energy on what the future holds in store for me. I came here with one goal and that was to make just one kid smile. I did that, and I hope even more than that, but after realizing how very naïve I was once again, I’ve realized it’s nowhere near good enough. Not even close.