“I want to touch the earth, I want to beak it in my hands, I want to grow something wild and unruly…”

My voice bounced off the water-warped tile and yellowing tub. Slightly off key but beautiful to me because I was singing for no reason. Scrubbing each arm, my stomach, eventually my feet, and the song changed…“You can never tell what’s in a man’s mind. And if he’s from Harlem, ain’t no use in even trying…”

It’s been ages since I was in this good a mood. For no reason. Just because.

And I almost don’t dare to say it out loud – to type it in space. But today was a good day. A simple, uneventful, good day.

After crashing at Emme’s house because it was too late to get back, BushDiva and I made it to M’s 8am class. He’d talked about it the day before – about how lively the discussions and intense the debates. After our other, less encouraging encounters with the university we were eager to see another side. And he delivered.

At first it seemed like it would only be M dictating definitions and random notes. But after providing the information that would normally be supplied by a book he launched into a discussion. The topic: domestic violence.

As the class bandied about scenarios and questions, M threw brought up the new (relatively) marital rape laws and asked the class about that. Later, introducing the short and long term effects of abuse, he challenged his students to think. “Women may make poor decisions about sex in the future is one of the effects, do you think women in Liberia have the power to make decisions about sex in relationships?”

The class exploded into comments about culture and history, European values and rural vs. urban trends. And it was 8am. When the time expired it was M, not his students that noticed. I was exhilarated.

After class M walked us to the library, fielding our questions about local/West African norms on life, courtship, and family. And when satisfied – for the moment anyway – we bid goodbye and wandered into the library.

More impressive than we originally thought (we discovered there is a downstairs) BD and I wandered the stacks picking up random books and itemizing resources for future reference.

I wandered home and ate a cold can of chili mac (don’t judge I was starving and we have no current during the day) and began outlining questions and considerations for the work we’re doing with the Ministry of Health. There is something about being useful. About doing work that has potential to really impact change that makes me smile and inspires me to do more (there is also a novelty of not being tormented by large dogs but that is another story and another lifetime).

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