Ah yes, I've caught you on one of my nostalgic days. And what I tend to do when I am nostalgic is reminisce. So you're in for some possibly strange, most assuredly random memories that are special to me.

How about our last morning in Marrakesh? I remember waking up while the room was still grey, before the incense was even lit, and stumbling around in the half light searching for my camera.
You can't miss the sunrise on your last day! So I went out into the atrium and climbed up the stairs, past the little garden, all the way to the roof.
From the roof you could see the Jemaa el Fna, the shopkeepers beginning to stir, the grey of the woodsmoke beginning to drift up to mingle with the grey of the sky. I could see the complex strands of the medina twisting through this beautiful city, I could see all of the minarets jutting into the morning sky and to the east, over the mountains, I could see the red tinge of sunlight peeking up shyly. It always amazed me that a sunrise could look so shy and timid while a sunset was so bold.
Directly next to me through the laticed windows of his tower, I could see the Imam of the mosque next to us prepare for the call to prayer. He didn't see me, and I did not call attention to myself as I watched him. I saw the lights flicker on in the minarets of all of the city, and then it began with just one. I heard it, the song calling the city of Marrakesh to prayer.
One Allahu Akbar was followed by another then another until the cacaphony was ringing everywhere as the sun rose over the mountains to make the chilly morning a bit warmer. It was a magical moment, convicting me once more of this world's need for Christ. It's something I'll never forget.

I can't even decide what memories from Ivory Coast I want to share. All of those late night walks through the streets, laying out in the field to just watch the stars and revel in each others' company. All of those first rains when all inhibitions were forgotten and we all ran about, dancing in the streets, wallowing in the puddles, climbing through the trees.
Oh, the first rains...when the ground was so red, so dry, and the air was so thick with dust. The leaves would be orange with grime, the heat-waves from the streets would make the air dance and then you'd see it in the distance. Giant, rolling purple clouds flashing with white lightning, rumbling with promise. The wind would pick up and humidity would fill the air, making your dusty skin tingle with the promise of cool relief...and then it would happen. One drop would fall, leaving it impression in the dust, a little dark circle of hope. Down the rest of it would come, falling, pouring, torrential and beautiful, the most glorious music you have ever heard. It's a symphony of rain on tin and tile, of thunder and swishing trees, of wind and childrens' squeals. It turns the roads to bright red mud, it washes the leaves and makes them green again and brings the world to life once more.
I miss riding in the back of the Kia to the villages, singing and clapping and trying our best not to fly off the back. I miss the sheer joy of being with people who have nothing and still dance. I miss the sound, no not the sound, the feel of the drums. I miss all of those days sitting in the trees with Abou, laughing so hard I have to clutch the branches to keep from falling. I miss running and jumping and climbing with him, dancing and singing and laughing like the wild child that is still somewhere inside of me.
I miss merely walking with Moussa, his simple outlook on life and his ready smile keeping me grounded. I miss all of those days laying out in Dalal's yard, all of us together, the peices of my childhood coming perfectly together to form my present.
I miss working in the Clinic, feeling like I was contributing to the world. I miss the feeling of family I got with those people, my other mother, Nathalie, my Grandmama, my uncles like Maiga and Emmanuel, my brothers Eugene and Janvier...
I even miss seeing the sick, the dying, the mothers and children suffering from kept me grounded, it kept my perspective on kept me grateful.
I miss the little things like the sound of a knock on our gate that, I miss the squeak of mom's bedroom door telling me it was time to actually sleep. I miss the simplicity. I miss the bittersweet feeling of being so blessed. I miss being able to find others to bless so easily.

Yes, I apologize if you're sick about hearing what I miss, but there is still some things to cover. What about childhood memories?
All of those times when life was so simple that not being able to find your favorite wooden sword was a crisis.
I remember all of those days Austin and I would spend with Miriam and Sylvia and Abakar and Abou, playing Lord of the Rings in the woods. I remember being the only white skinned, blond little girl amongst dozens of ebony faces and it not making a difference.
I remember all of those times we would find an old abandoned house and sit in the rafters eating papaya and passion fruit, hiding from any adult that walks by. I remember sitting in the mango trees, always having to jump down when we disturbed the fire ants.
I remember all of those fistfights I got in. Yes, I was a naughty child, but they were teasing Austin. Of course, he didn't care, but I did. I got my butt kicked more than once. a 7 year old scrawny girl against four or five 10 year old never ended well for me. Of course I didn't go down without giving a few bruises.
I remember the game we used to play during team meetings called Moon had absolutely no plot, no rules and no way of winning or losing. It was great.
I remember going to Aunt Brenda's to play in the sandbox and make "amazing" castles, then going inside to watch Little Rascals and eat popcorn with actual butter!
I remember those little green seeds that hurt when you got hit by them, so obviously, what we would do, was throw them at each other. Makes sense, right?
Oh yes, and that one hut we built with trees and mud and palm actually stood for a long time. I miss club houses like that, a little place that seems simply magic to you.

Wow....lots of reminiscing going on. I told you. I am nostalgic. I apologize, normally I would just journal these things but I thought I would share. It never hurts to know the inconsequential details of one's never really does any good either. Those were amazing memories, they will be with me forever, they will always make me smile....but they're in the past and I don't want to focus on them anymore than I have to. I want to make new ones to think about in the future. What is life without its random moments of idyllic simplicity?


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