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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Monday, July 30, 2012


We head out a few hours later then what we are supposed to. It's just the way things work here. The stress of rushing, making deadlines, expecting things to happen "on time" does not exist.

We are heading to Dia's "village", two hours north and east of Dakar. Dia is the healer who is the friend of Bah's.

Even though I am still the elder, this time I am seated squished in the back with Tess, Jasi, and Bah - beside the scratched, plexiglass window that does not open (neither of them open in the back seat) - so my view of the country-side is not so detailed.

Jammed into the 2-seater front seat is Bouba, driving, Dia who is an elder but I'm sure I have at least 15 years on him, and another male relative.

After fighting traffic to leave the city, we pass miles and miles and miles of open land, dotted infrequently with short trees and a few bushes.

On glorious occasion there is a boabab tree, the amazing huge ancient tree that Bah says can live more then 1000 years, thousands of years even - which makes it even more painful to see some of the majestic giants cut down and lined up along what appears to be property borders maybe.

The land tends to be brick red like Georgia soil, and mostly flat - we are moving slightly inland from the ocean, which is no longer in evidence by sight or smell - and sparsely covered with short grass.

Dead cow carcasses are more prevalent then trees. On occasion, we pass by villages which are clusters of the square/rectangular cement houses and several round, grass-covered homes.

And every few miles, a car is stranded by the side of the road, steamy & hood raised up as men with tools work to get it back onto the road.

Sometimes women are selling mostly mangoes at the side of the road. Sometimes people of all ages have found shade from a wall or an occasional bush or tree, spread out a beautiful rug or blanket, and are either languidly talking or resting quietly.

We stop in a bigger village, pulling into a shady spot just off the road. Bouba opens the hood and steam pours out. The radiator has a tiny hole.

Dia (who speaks no english) goes shopping in one of the small, wayside businesses that line this part of the road. He comes back with a new pair of shoes for himself, puts them under the seat and heads off again.

We have been on the road for about 3 hours. I ask how far away is Dia's village. No one knows - or says. We smile and wave to the women and children, who shyly greet us with wide, generous smiles. Jasi plays in the shaded dirt as we eat our lunch, while we wait for the engine to cool.

Dia returns, this time with many loaves of bread, new blankets or rugs, and a couple bags of foods that he shoves into the cubby behind the back seat.

He has to provide for 4 wives and 7 times as many children living in his home in the country. And then the five of us.

Bouba closes the hood after adding water - and not repairing the spurting hole - and we continue along the road.

The roads are now small but still paved. No shoulder but no steep drop-off either. Soon we turn onto another somewhat paved road - or should I say once-paved road.

It is so full of potholes and cracks that we are forced onto the red dirt where others have pounded out a some-what smoother path.

After several more grueling hours of bouncing along dirt and sometimes asphalt, the sun begins her descent when we get to the village store of Dia's home. He jumps out & buys soda & juice along with dates & the men in the jeep break their fast.

We travel another 5 or so dirt road miles, past a huge lake, cross many plains and finally approach Dia's compound of several cinderblock buildings and straw covered homes.


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