Wednesday, January 31, 2007

roots

Coming to the country of my father’s resting place could never have prepared me for the apparent grasp-ability of a first visit to his grave.
Here I am, just over one week into my sojourn as a teacher, not connected in the slightest with my childhood roots, and yet I have happened upon quite a close connection.
Finding out my Zambia history, the owner here at the lodge said he thought one of the guides was from that area, and that it may not be very far from here. Sure enough, the next night this guide asked to see me.
His name is Meekson, and he is indeed from my home village. He also returns there every weekend during the dry season, when the trip takes only a day. This man was working for the school where my father taught, and he also went to the church to hear my father preach. The day my parents’ car accident was found, Meekson was involved in handling the crushed vehicle. He described the white car, gesturing to indicate the V-shape that I could picture perfectly from the pictures I saw. He was able to describe Daddy’s grave, and to reassure me of what I’ve always wondered: there is a woman there who has faithfully tended his grave for all these years.
Meekson had me write a letter to the one woman I remembered by name—the other widow of that accident’s fatalities. He knows her as a teacher there, and will see her this next weekend when he goes. She will certainly send a letter back this coming week, he assured me.
My own visit will likely have to wait several months yet, until the rains abate and the roads allow for a manageable length of a trip. But that is alright with me; the knowledge that it is feasible is enough for now.

2 comments:

Helen said...

Wow, I can't believe you'll have a chance to see Daddy's grave. I'm really anxious to hear your blog about it, although it still may be awhile until you get to go there.
I just wanted to write and say that I'm thinking about you. Marian and I read your blog regulary and have also watched a dutch (?) tv show online about the mukambi lodge and Robyn and her family. It's amazing to be able to watch a whole show about the place where you're living now. And of course we enjoy the pictures you post online as well.
I love you and miss you!
Love, Helen

anna j said...

oh, i'm so thrilled to know you're keeping up with my blog-- i was hoping you were! and yes, that show is Dutch . . . i watched it just this past weekend with the family, and had no idea about it before that. that's very cool that you all saw it too :-)
i love you tons!