Recently, it was about 4 in the afternoon, when Joy and Mom came knocking on my door in Mmathethe, with a food basket, and telling me to get dressed we're going out a night on the town. Uh, what town? There's nothing around for at least 30 miles or so. What the hey---I ate my late lunch, packed an overnight bag just in case, fed crazy Keoki, and hopped in the car. "Where we going mom." "I don't know, we're just going like the birds do." Great, I love being a free spirit, going to nowhere in 500 degree heat. She was right, we wound up in the middle of nowhere to watch traditional dancers and singers bringing in the New Year. It was so beautiful out in the middle of nowheresville. Mom immediately noticed that so many were greeting me, so she said, "Tshepo, since you are the Mayor around here, can you get us some food." They only cook for the dancers, but I was served immediately! It feels good to have Mayor status in these parts! As soon as I got my plate, Joy shoved her hands in and ate everything. "Tshep, you better get something for mom." I get another plate, and Joy shoves her hands in and eats everything. I slap her vulture hands, embarrassed, I ask humbly for another plate. "Tshepo, you sure are hungry tonight." "Yes, I haven't eaten in days, I'm as starved as a vulture." "Well then, you can have anything you want sweetie." Joy is behind me laughing, and mom is just proud to have a daughter with clout around the food table! Joy is satiated now, sitting back on the chair, as I sit on the dirt, leaning up against her legs. She leans over and tells me that as much as misses African food, she misses the smell of the dirt more. I tilt my head back to watch her proudly sniffing and watching her native land. I guess no matter where you are, home never leaves you, and I sat wondering how many plates I'll stick my hands into whenever I get home.
That night, the 4 of us sisters sat huddled together, laughing about Joy being a pig, and talking about mom, family, our differences, and wondering why nobody in this town has a pool we can cool off in. Since it's so hot, we all fall asleep in the only semi-cool room in the house. I awoke before all with Joy's feet in my face, Kesego's head on my stomach, Peo dreaming of Facebook, and mom at the doorway just looking at this sight. She motioned for me to get up, and when I did, she gave me a heartfelt look, one of those right through your soul looks, and said to me, "Tshepo, you were meant to come here." Anxiously waiting for her to tell my why on earth I'm not in Asia where my heart is, she says, "We have been your family for many moons, now go wash your mouth and make us breakfast." Frankly, I didn't think she had it in her to talk like a far out Californian, but something in her knows that we were meant to find each other.
|sister Joy enjoying birthday brownies from the USA|