My last day in the office was March 17. We were practicing social distancing— not allowed to pass each other in the hall, speaking from inside our offices, wiping down doorknobs and the copy machine.
It was George’s mother’s birthday and he couldn’t go see her in the nursing home. That made him sad.
Tomorrow will be my 13th day of working from home. The fourth day of my second year with the agency. My first full day working on my new laptop. I had to reset windows and I managed to send myself this old picture from my phone for my desktop photo:
I took it on the road between Djibouti City and Lac Abbé four years ago. Other than my daughter, I’ve shown one person this photo and they didn’t even ask what it was.
“Some random African photo,” he said when I asked if he noticed it, “I know your fascination with Africa.”
So I explained. “Ah,” he said, “that makes sense.”
This is the original photo that I took in January 2016.
There is beauty in that photo, and oppressive dry heat, and the implication of hardship. Where are they going? Is it far? Yet, such color and contrast. Simplicity.
The man in the front is wearing a traditional man’s skirt. They say it helps you stay cool in the heat. The women have such light but colorful layers, lovely hijab blowing in what appears to be a slight breeze.
This photo takes me away when I look at it, and for me, it offers perspective and optimism.
I do have a critical theorist’s fascination with Africa, but my passion is actually post-colonial Francophone Africa and how their colonial experience and subsequent (ahem) immigration issues and Muslim relations provide lessons for American imperialism in a post-9/11 world.
Though recent political upheaval in South Africa may provide an interesting cross-examination of the British colonial experience… and what that means for the next generation of African citizens across the continent.
But I digress… not uncommon.
I have some goals I want to set this week.
- Have several meals with my daughter at our patio cafe.
- Take 3 walks.
- Do 5 push ups tomorrow, 10 on Tuesday, and as many as I can each day as long as it is at least the same as the day before.
- Care for my nails.
- Take a bath.
- Cut the grass.
- Do a blog series on Tarot cards