A recent saints experience: The other day I was walking home from school through our neighborhood. The Beni version of congestion is a cacophony of motos, pedestrians, bicycles with heavy loads, and busy outlining the road. As I rounded the corner to our street, a moto with a woman passenger leaned into me as the driver attempted to outwit another moto speeding up behind. I tumbled over into a woman emptying a bucket of water, and the two motos landed, one of top of the other, against me. As the other taxi drivers parked at the corner dashed over, my first concern was for the drivers’ safety. I have seen a bit of the local street justice. No one was hurt. I was fine. The passenger appeared unfazed. In the melee it appeared that the other drivers were simply trying to assist.
Out of the crowd emerged Mama Lillian, a sister to Mama Furaha and Mama Odette. She dashed up to me, clasped my arm with a look of concern. I assured her I was OK. No injuries. Just a minor tumble. She put her arm through mine and escorted me down the street to our house. Once inside the gate, she greeted her sisters with great voice and launched into an elaborate, animated, and highly energized retelling of the events, complete with a diagram of the action. How I wish I could have understood all that she said.
|Mamas Odette (L), Lillian (C), and Furaha (R)|