Posted tagged ‘sacred rock’

That’s all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel.”

July 24, 2012

I thought I heard rain this morning, but I just turned over and went back to sleep and slept in. I didn’t wake up until 9:30. I even went to bed early for me last night so this was a where’s my prince sort of deep sleep. It wouldn’t have surprised me to see the Seven Dwarves standing by my bedside. The streets were damp when I went to get the paper so it had rained, and that little rain brought us a cloudy day and thick humidity. The sun is appearing infrequently as if it doesn’t really care one way or the other. The paper predicts a hot day.

Sounds are always muted in the humidity. The thickness of the air drowns everything and brings a sort of lethargy. Even the leaves on the oak trees barely stir. The house is cloudy day dark and the window here does little to lighten the room. It’s morning nap time for Fern, Maddie and Gracie. The loudest noise in the house is the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard.

When I lived in Ghana, I had a Honda 70. It was the demure moto, as the Ghanaians call motorcycles, for a woman who always wore a dress. My first year volunteers weren’t allowed motorcycles, but when that changed my second year, I bought one. My first trip, just after learning to ride it, was the hundred miles from Tamale where I bought the bike to Bolga where I lived. I loved that ride. It was a freedom I had never felt in a crowded lorry with every seat taken, people sitting in the middle on small stools and a few chickens and goats along for the ride. That moto gave me the freedom to take back roads leading to the small villages which ringed Bolga. I always brought a canister of extra gas. My friends and I would usually go together; Bill took the baby Kevin safely tied in a backpack and I took Peg his wife on the back of my bike. We’d often bring lunch and stop for a picnic. Those were fun days as we found ourselves in amazing places. Once some guys hauled our bikes across a small pond and we sat by a village watering hole to have lunch. Small boys stood around and watched us. The guys at the pond waited for us to finish as we had given them half a cedi for one way and told them we’d give them the other half if they waited to take the bikes back. That was a lot of money in those days. Another time we went to Tongo. We had brought a small charcoal burner and hot dogs that came in a can to cook almost like at a real barbecue. We set up the burner on a rock. A bit later a man came and yelled at us in FraFra. The small boys in school uniforms who had been standing around and watching us translated. The man wanted money to appease the gods on whose rock we had rested the burner, but the rock had bird poop on it so we didn’t buy his story figuring it was another scam for money. His response was something along the lines of  misfortunes would follow us, but that too we ignored. We finished and packed up to leave. Not far from the rock, Bill’s bike stopped suddenly for no reason. We looked at each other wondering, but Bill’s bike restarted with no problem. We were just glad the old man hadn’t seen it.

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