By Elettra Pauletto

December 29, 2014


It’s nearly dinner time in Mweso, a small village in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, but the nuns I’m staying with insist they don’t need my help preparing it. So I relax on the porch and watch the road across the clearing, where villagers walk by on bent knees, flanked by tall trees with leaves like unfurled swan wings. The war is near, but not here, not now. The air is infused with the spiced scent of eucalyptus, and the smell of burning wood, used to cook the evening meal of cassava and beans, blends smoothly through it. I can hear a firm breeze brushing the treetops with clean, sure movements, and the soft humming of the nuns preparing dinner. A group of small children walk by with parcels of deep green amaranth leaves, pale green plantain bushels and earth brown cassava roots atop their heads, fields and forests so big behind them they fade into blue, and gray. A little girl so laden hangs back upon seeing me sitting on the porch. She grins and waves. When the breeze picks up slightly, announcing the arrival of rain, she skips on down the road.


Photo "Running Away" provided by മലയാളം, via Flickr creative commons license.

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