Things that Go Bump in the Night

When night falls in Africa, the space and time between dusk and dark is reduced to a whispered prayer hoping not to hit any pedestrians. There are few street lights, so as the sun sets, the sparks fly and fire illuminates the road side stands, with hopeful merchants waiting to make one last sale from those on their way home. Food, is a good last minute purchase, but the inner tubes and car batteries, will likely remain until the daylight can shine on their future usefulness.

It is dark.

And while modern civilization may seem ten thousand miles away – the noise is not. Celebrations of funerals, weddings, engagements, Saturday night dances continue long past sunset. The erratic electricity provides the background music for their gaiety. Even from two blocks away the drone of a bass rap beat sounds through the blackness of night. It is not a tribal rhythm, but African none the less.

Celebration is common here. Reasons to engage in joy sought for. No one is too busy working to stop and enjoy in the good news or bad fortune of a friend, neighbor or loved one.

The gifts aren’t as critical as the community. The Africans gather to be with each other on such occasions. They understand no man is an island.

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