Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Library: Past, Present, Future...














































Apparently the library is next door
to the traditional healer. The man who rid the doorway of two hornets nests in one night:
traditional healer. Staying on his good side is my only option. I frame it in my head: A 'mind healer' next to the traditional healer.

I find this out because I am at the shop next to Mashai Primary, and I invite the shopkeeper to come visit his library.

"Where? What is the Mashai Library?"

"It is just down there, Ntate, by the bus stop. By the court at the road."

"Ah. But where is the Mashai Library?"

I put my hand as a fist, and point to it with my other. "See, this is the court. Then this," and I move my fist to an open hand, unconscious of the symbolism," is the nearest rondavel, and this," and I close my fingers, which for Basotho is a hand gesture that means little or young, "is the library."

"Oh, you are next to the healer. That is the traditional healer."

"Am I?"

"Oh, yes, I saw you all the time down there and I was wondering if you were sick."

I burst out laughing, but my laughter barks in the near empty bar room and
he smiles awkwardly at me. Apparently he didn't find my illness amusing. Did he appreciate at least the overwhelming cross cultural misunderstanding? Perhaps, I hope, he was too concerned with my health.

So now I wonder, the court, the bus stop, the healer, and now the library... what side of fortune put the us at the center of the village...

[These last three images give a picture of what the library was like when I first arrived.]

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