Sunday, September 6, 2009

just say "jam"

also 8/18/2002:
sometime this weekend, i was telling Mu'aath how this one old Pa there in Ukpwa always asks about my children ("pu'kwa jam?"). i reply "they no dey [i don't have any] Pa, but yes, jam." so i ask Mu'aath what's up with that? what am i supposed to say?

he tells me that i should just say "jam" [good or in peace]... to keep things moving. not to rock the boat, if you will. and as we're discussing this he looks at me and says "Muhammad, it no bi reality now." hu-'uh! it be na weti if it no bi reality? i guess it was both funny and a little shocking.

it was certainly insightful... that the superficial character to the shibboleth of local greetings isn't just perceived by me. jam bandu? jam. jam nusumri? jam. usako. m'aathala. usako. m'aathala. yaowaa... [a series of greetings and replies in the local Fulani dialect].

Saturday, September 5, 2009

prayer punctuated path


na me dis o! weh ah dey fo' Wum... fo' inisde ma own compound. pidign is coming along. today was long. reached Esu by 12:30pm. left Ukpwa around 9am. the path was wet and muddy at times, but generally good.

Yusuf came along. he, Mu'aath and i talked the whole way... in a musical chairs of language. Yusuf speaks arabic well. likes poetry. good guy. well read. well spoken. has baraka on his face... on him generally. we laughed more than a few times. at ourselves mostly.

Esu to Weh wasn't bad. Weh to Wum was less than good. rain/mud/motrocycle. we made it though. prayed dhuhur [midday] in Esu. 'asr [afternoon] in Weh. wait–fajr [dawn] in Ukpwa. maghrib [dusk] and 'isha [evening] in Wum.

a prayer punctuated path. may they be accepted, insha'Allah.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

good people, ukpwa

evening #2 here in Ukpwa, aka Waindu. an uneventfully eventful day. relaxing. no pomp. no circumstance. Usmanu and Bub Sule came to visit. the gang here really cracks me up. good people. i read a bit. wrote 1/2 a letter to mama. tomorrow, we trek... insha'Allah.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

village life


by the light of a bush-lamp i di write. here in Ukpwa... chez Saleh. although it's just Mu'aath and i here. we dilly-dallied around Wum until around 4:30pm. got here. chilled. prayed. ate, a lot... fufu & ndjamma-ndjamma. chilled. ate more... dakiri. chilled.

the guys are funny. they talk. tell stories. crack each other up... you know. i relaxed instantly when i goth here. the setting, the quiet, the village. glad i forgot my phone... although there is service out here!

Mu'aath and i will trek to Esu on Monday morning... take a ride back to Wum, insha'Allah. Yusuf if here... from Ngaoundere. good man. modest. well-spoken. kind. i just met Yunus, from Niger. Saleh is a little ill, but off to Yaounde. village life seems to depress him. he wants to study.

Happy Birthday Mama!