Monday, October 09, 2006

Zimbabwe sounds like . . .

In September Zimbabwe sounds like singing. Loud, warbling tones that somehow blend into the sweetest music. It sounds like young people clapping, keeping time with the rhythm of their voices.

It sounds like the delighted laughter or shy giggles of orphans.

Like widows ululating in thanksgiving. Like a hotel maid humming as she bends low, raking leaves with a small homemade whisk.

It sounds like the bleating of goats in the school yard and bells clanging around the necks of oxen pulling a cart or cattle meandering past the church gathered on a wide rock.

Like the crack of the masasa tree as its seed pods burst open. Like the squawk of guinea fowl.

It sounds like children along the roadside yelling, “Hello!” as your vehicle passes. Like fussy babies cradled in the arms of their grandmothers, for their mothers have died of AIDS.

It sounds like songs of praise drifting down a footpath through brittle grass in the midst of a barren land.

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