On a quiet, chilly, Saturday afternoon, Lefika came sauntering in while I was just lying on the couch reading. He stood over me, gazing down, almost penetrating my soul, when, this now grown up boy, said to me, “We'll pick you up at 7am tomorrow, and bring you home at 7pm.” “Where you kidnapping me to for 12 hours on a Sunday?” “Church!” “Sorry Lefika---no church, especially not for 12 hours, and no way am I getting out of bed at that freezing hour in the morning.” Well, I must have said the wrong thing, because his face contorted, his eyes got big and weird, and an overall serious and strange look came upon him. “You better come Tshepo because that lightning bolt that came in your house last summer was the Devil after you---my whole family thinks so too.” Whaaaaaat----were they gonna get me exorcised?
I quickly flashed back to that summers day when I saw the lightning through my house that struck the bowl I was holding, and how startled I was. Now I was just told by an 8 year old, that it was the Devil cussin' and spittin' and shaken and jumpin' at me. Geez, did the devil literally come out of the woodwork and attack me---I'm now wondering where he got my file? I know all to well where the devil goes, and I didn't like it none-to-well. Why on earth would the devil want a mere PCV mortals soul to take to the underworld, or was he just provoking and tempting me? Honestly Mr. Devil, I've been good, really!
Thinking about it---Isn't the devil just some archaic mythical character with horns, a tail, and a pitchfork--a creature with super human powers that lives in a place called hell. Or is the bible correct in teaching that there is a prince of darkness who works in the shadows, looking for someone to devour. Maybe the devil is actually very sophisticated and specialize, subtle and clever like the greatest undercover agent of all time. If so, and if this is true, I had been in deep shit trouble, but spared, obviously, by some higher force. All of a sudden, Africa is becoming a bit spooky!
But how on earth am I gonna get out of this one? What do you tell a kid who whole heartedly believes this, and now making me wonder what I did wrong to deserve that near miss. People believe such things around here, I understand that, so I told Lefika, as gently as I could, that what happened was an act of nature, and that I'm fine and will rise above any and all negative energies that may or may not be out to get me. I can't say he believed me, as his weird look took hold again, and he just slowly sauntered away the same way he sauntered in, just a bit more confused I think.
Immediately on Monday morning, I spoke to a sane, level headed teacher friend, who confirmed that the devil indeed does not like that I'm doing good deeds in Mmathethe, and that he doesn't like good people. I didn't like what I was hearing, so I went to yet another teacher who was not so sane, and heard the same thing. Ok then, I'm really not good, honest Mr. Devil, I'm not –just ask anyone I know! All I can say is that I have less than two months to go, the rains and lightening won't appear until after I leave, and by God, I'm not gonna run home and get exorcised, but I sure am gonna try to find someone in the States to check the reality of this Devil thing!