Essi’s First Day

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They say the dry harmattan winds seem to give some relief to the sticky heat that visits Togo during the rainy season. Yesterday was the first day the air felt fresh and somewhat cool to me, as if the wind was foretelling the newness of the day’s mood. I was ready for the relief. These early weeks have been difficult ones for me. I’ve spent many moments leaning over a sink full of dishes, remembering times that I displayed grit in my life. A marathon, years of schooling, carrying a baby, anything that I could draw on to give me the confidence to stand tall, joyfully while I push myself out of this stage when my legs feel wobbly. It’s far too easy to give up when things are hard.

Essie came yesterday. She’s a young woman, probably a few years younger than me, with mama hips and a quiet, warm disposition. She knows more about motherhood than me, and definitely more about how to keep a house in Africa. Without much instruction she set out to wash the floors, make tortillas, manage the laundry. I was so grateful for the hand. For the first time I felt I could see my way over the mountain of housework that I could never se time to get ahead of. For the first time, I could imagine successfully living here for two years. We had black beans and fresh tortillas for dinner and it was perfect.

 

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