Morning Routines. . .
There’s a sweet red finch sitting on the window bars that taps conscientiously on my small window at dawn every morning. It’s a good way to start the day. After my morning ablutions, a hot water bucket bath, I set off for my walk to the office before the sun truly rises. This thirty-minute walk (with a long downhill and a long uphill) has become a favourite part of my daily routine. People in this community seem to remember my commute from the past three years calling out one of the four usual greetings; “maramutse”/”good morning”/”bonjour”, “amahoro”(peace) as they go about their own early morning routine.
They greet me as they sweep their front steps, open up their shops, head to work or school and wait for the bus. It’s good to have become enough a part of the local morning “scene” with the early morning risers that I actually feel a bit less obtrusive with my presence and “muzungu-ness”. Local moto drivers, knowing that I prefer the walk and will refuse their offer to ride with them, just wave and grin as they pass me by.
How I would love to capture a multitude of images on camera, but I fear being invasive and obnoxious. Some of the images include: men playing checkers using blue and red bottle cap pieces, enjoying the morning light on their backs; an elderly man dressed in his finest suit and leather hat walking slowly with Bible in hand; children primped and pressed ready for school; women carrying gargantuan loads on their heads, heading to the local market (Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays). A young woman with broad bare feet having an animated cell phone conversation striding along purposely carrying a lone jug on her head and with a hoe propped on her shoulder was an especially memorable image.
The other day I walked by a lovely scene of two women, with one intently doing the other’s hair in fine, taut braids close to the scalp. I was somehow struck by this vision of purity/vulnerability and sweet innocence of the moment that I stopped and turned around to chat with them, getting up my courage to record it beyond my mind’s eye. They were amused and rather bewildered, but definitely pleased by my request to take a photo. I just wanted to capture the sense of belonging, serenity and comfort they exuded at the beginning of their day.