We are stangers in this land. Not only to the people, but to the way of life.
We oscillate between surrounding ourselves with people the world has forgotten and people who consume the world.
Begrudgingly, we belong to the second race and will never fully understand what it means to be forgotten.
We stick out like shiny new hotels surrounded by a crumbling infrastructure. Like a cactus in a desert sucking all the water for itself and pricking those that try to get their share.
Our interaction with everyone is pleasurable and I feel an innocent happiness here, but a feeling of heaviness follows me around like an anchor with the threat of pulling me to the bottom of the sea.
The poverty runs deep in this place, oozing out of the ground, washing up from the sea, and permeating the air around.
Mia Couto writes happiness is made up by the wealthy to trick the poor, but I’m not sure I believe that. I think many people are genuinely happy here, retaining a deep connection with the earth that both gives and takes away. A lack of materials inhibits construction of the walls we place around ourselves at home, leaving space for close physical contact and a feeling of connectedness on first encounters.
Of all the things I’ve witnessed here that break my heart, an equal amount fill it to the brim with joy.
Two weeks is not nearly enough time to know a place, but places such as this always remind me that the things of this world are fleeting and only serve the purpose of taking up space in our hearts meant for human relationships.
We are always happy to come home to our comfortable life. But it is important for us to step out of this comfort zone as often as possible and realize this is not a normal way of life for most. These comforts make life easy, not joyful, they bring satisfaction, but not happiness–without human connections, love does not exist.