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  • Lorraine Johnson

[10] Left In Words & Light

It was an endless dirt road leading from the town of Buzi to Ngwarangwara. The chief of the land, Manuel Mapara, sat on the floor in his house—immobile, suffering from a festering boil on his foot. And then he told us a story about his life and his people—and about the annual ceremony to ask for rain in time of drought—to bring moisture to the land and fruit to the trees. We talked, and talked, leaving by foot hours later, in the excruciating heat which penetrated the land. A lift back to Buzi a fading dream, our footprints continued as the wind began to blow. Before we knew it, we were caught in a torrential down pour, the dirt path turning to puddles. After hours and hours of walking, drenched to the skin, a small truck approached. With a seat to sit we pressed on to Buzi and the town of Ngwarangwara, and its people, remained kilometers behind—its memory now left in words, as the light burning throughout the night signaling to the spirits the presence of a people.

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