I sat on the front steps this evening, watching the sky flash purple streaks in the cloudy distance. As the night threatened rain that never arrived, I felt the slight stir of a breeze carrying the cacophonous music of crickets, frogs, or whatever animals live in the moist darkness of a Liberian November.

Two men wrestled with the water pump to my left and the metal clanking against itself competed with nature for attention. Faster and harder, their exertion was finally rewarded with the slow and sometimes halting stream of water directed at their buckets. No neighbors sat on their steps or cooled themselves on front porches. No children shrieked with joy while joyriding in a wheelbarrow barreling down on a car sized puddle the color of cinnamon. It was a moment of stillness.

A few minutes later a few people passed on the winding rutted path the UN and NGO trucks have driven to temporary submission with their constant use. The screen door squeaked and bumped my back lightly as BushDiva emerged for a breath of air. And just like that, the night was unstill again and I rejoined my housemates for the completion of our day.

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