Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Noise of Africa

I was on the roof-top this morning... and noticed the noise.  Down the street is a local carpenter shop, and the sawing and sanding create a rhythm line for the neighborhood music.  There is the rooster(s) next door that are incessantly calling and strutting their voice at all hours of the day. Always there is a child crying from one direction or another (sometimes even my own!).  Cars honk randomly throughout the day and night, honking for someone to open the gate so they can drive into their home.  On Sunday you can hear a choir singing songs in harmony - so there must be a church nestled somewhere in our vicinity!  The noise indicates that Africa is alive - people are working, visiting, worshipping and living.  I am so glad we are in this neighborhood, surrounded by life!  We could have been in an upper-class place, but it is more quiet there in the hills about the city sounds.  Here we are part of the life and the noise.  Our contribution is our broken kirundi, heavy with an american accent!  The constant clicking on our laptops might be another texture we add to the mix.  Here we get to be part of the African song, the neighborhood noise.

From the roof-top we can watch all the other families.  They are washing (by-hand) and hanging clothes to dry, they are rocking their babies to sleep, they are cooking over an open fire or sitting together drinking fanta.  Sometimes a small child will look up and see us - point and laugh!  We just wave and smile.  There is also a lot of construction going on in this place - we must be in the Surprise of Bujumbura!  The building tactics here are quite different, to say the least.  But it is good to see that sign of life and growth, the confidence people have when they are building their future and planning to live here.  The structures and colors would surprise you - no HOA or COA here!  But this is a place where neighbors do talk to one another, so everyone seems to be in on the local action.  I love seeing the community from my roof-top.  I am learning as I watch.  Now, who is watching me?  Would they learn anything of use from me? Hard question... I think I need to stay in a learning posture here!

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