WE HEAD OUT for the day,
slathered in sunscreen,
coated with bug spray,
water bottles full,
We climb onto the bus.
OUT ON THE MAIN ROAD,
dogs are free range. And everywhere.
Dogs like I’ve never seen, most of them. And skinny.
They saunter across roads that have no lines painted on them, roads that are sometimes 2-lane, sometimes 3, 4, whatever people want or need, and at whatever speed works for them.
A 3rd lane develops when a man riding a horse parades right up the center.
There’s a roadside cow, no fence separating us.
WE TURN OFF onto dirt and 5 miles of ruts.
Maybe more, maybe less.
I’m too busy looking at acre after acre of sugar cane.
The bus slows at every dip.
I thought “It’s a 40-minute ride” meant it was a distance away, but see? I was wrong. It’s 40 minutes on account of the ruts. I must remember to think outside the box and not make assumptions.
SOMETIMES THE BUS GETS STUCK in mud.
We all go sit over a rear tire,
and when that doesn’t help,
we all get out and,
having nothing else to do,
take a photo.
SOMETIMES THERE IS INSUFFICIENT ROAD to where we are going and we can’t be dropped at the door, so the boxes and tables must be carried in.
Not by me, of course. I haven’t been allowed to carry anything more than 2 steps without someone jumping up to take it from me. I have nothing to say about that, except that that’s the way it is.
I have no idea what hour it is most of the time and only check if I’m responsible for a meal. An army marches on its stomach, after all.
I have been hugged by a lot of old women who come up to my shoulder .
We have all had the chance to hold babies.