Fireflies. Vimulimuli. My favorite way to end the day is to turn off all the lights, sit on the porch and watch the vimulimuli. I listen to crickets chirp and bats flutter. I listen to the Laughing Lady, night birds, and cows lowing as they settle in for the night. Music drifts from somewhere in the village and bush babies cackle in the trees above my head. Even the annoying buzzing of the ubiquitous mosquitos contribute to a peaceful end to my daylight hours (yea, yea – malaria; whatever.) But the vimulimuli are the best. No matter the nature of my day, I can sit and watch them flit and flash and dance in the bush like the magical creatures I imagine them to be. Blinking, repeating pinpoints of brilliant, brief, bright magic.
Mulika means “to give light to.” I think I shall make this my theme for 2016. I will do my best to “let my little light shine.” It does fit with #7 of my seven Rules for Life: Practice smoothing the paths of others. I am officially Director of the school now. It is my turn to be a blinking, repeating pinpoint of brilliant, brief, bright magic. After 5 years of hard work, commitment, dedication and love for these kids, the now former Director, Liz, feels the need to move on and serve elsewhere (after a nice long vacation, of course. Safari njema Liz!). So, the job fell to me as the oldest and most experienced wazungu teacher here. Not much for qualifications, if you ask me. There is much shida/trouble to deal with right now and the first day of school will be a shida storm of magnanimous proportions. In addition to solving unresolved issues from last school year, we need everything from new students to sponsors to an actual school building, textbooks, desks, teachers…the list is endless. And we need it all yesterday. I don’t even have a written job description, but mulika sounds good to me. Time to be a little kimulimuli.
According to the Church calendar, today is Epiphany – the climax of the seasons of Advent and Christmas. To me, these have always been seasons of light. The lights on the tree, moonlight on snow and lake, a cozy fire in the hearth, the ribbon of skiers carrying torches as they glide down the mountain, candles in the hands of carolers, the star over the manger. Now this year I add the light of the vimulimuli on a hot, humid evening. This is our Epiphany here under the Southern Cross.
On January 18th our students will show up and we will teach them. One day they will graduate and go forth as new blinking, repeating pinpoints of brilliant, brief, bright magic. Their magic just might rebuild our world.
The African Children’s Choir https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHon6XAGJ3k
(For those missing my usual smattering of pics, I promise my next post will be nothing but pics from the 3 safaris I took over break.)