20 September 2007

15 people, me, 14 hours, and the back of a Toyota

IMORONA, MADAGASCAR – Dear Ben, I got in to this small village this morning after riding for a total of 14 hours in the back of a pickup truck, on a sideways wooden bench, crammed next to 15 other people. It was crazy. We were so close together, our arms were thatched together like palm fronds on a mat. Our feet and legs were like tangled tree roots. All the while, the truck is jerking back and forth with the force of an old wooden rollercoaster. We were driving so slow. Bicycles were seriously passing us because the roads were so bad. They looked like this: (insert craggy line here). The back of the truck was covered with a metal cage and a green tarp, to protect us from the rain. That was nice, but it also made the space fill up with exhaust as the truck heaved its way through muddy red ruts as deep as my thighs. It was worth it though, for one reason – the music. Just as I would think I was going to puke on/kill everyone around me, my fellow passengers would start singing. I couldn’t understand a word, but the soulful harmonies lifted me right off of that bruising seat and put me somewhere wonderful, a place where I could see the magnificent beaches and misty mountains on our path. A place where the ocean breeze snuffed out the tail pipe fumes. The world is terribly unfair sometimes, and we should do everything we can to change that, but the power people have to life themselves out of shitty situations, if only in mind, is truly amazing. Love, John

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Music has always been a salve for me. You're seeing (and hearing) so many beautiful things!