In the waning evening light, teenage boys are doing calisthenics on the soccer field. I know it’s a soccer practice—they’re on the field and there’s a ball in the center—but right now it looks more like some sort of synchronized dance.
The field is of the red dirt, clay really, that’s common in this part of the world and the the goals are each three thin logs nailed together, two sides and the top. I can see a woman walking along a dirt path with a water bucket balanced on her head. There’s something very Out of Africa about this. Except I’m not falling in love with someone that’s not my husband. Am I thinking of the right movie?
And aside from the fact that this is quite rural, I’m not blazing any trails. Others have come before me. I don’t have a rifle at my side to fend off wild beasts; I have to worry more about my laptop being stolen than a lion charging me.
It’s so still. Besides an occasional car on the one paved road to Ingwavuma, there’s just crickets, rustling leaves and voices of people in houses and huts down the hill and across the valley.
Of course I’ll get antsy—I get antsy in big cities too—but I think this will be good for me: the stillness, the simplicity.
It gets dark early here. The boys must not be playing any soccer today; it’s nearly dark and they’re doing sit-ups in a circle; someone’s counting them off in Zulu it sounds like.