UNDER A BIG MANGO TREE
The past Monday, November 9th, my journey started with lots of excitation, and wasn’t because they will remove this ugly plaster on my arm or nothing like that, it was the beginning of a long journey that I will never forget.
Some days ago, somebody invited me for a talk in radio Planet, there I meet Happy, a journalist with a wish of helping people in need, we talked and talked, and among all this talk , one idea for one donation came up, and the answer of my dreams this time also had a name, and it was called, Avali primary school, on the community of Agbanguizoun,and thanks to, Elisabet Salat, Jaume Peig, Josep Pascuet, and Arturo Angulo,for their donation.
This Monday , November 9th , started early for one trip of more than 4 hours, inside one broken car full of shiny pretty school stuff for the Avali primary school.
This is the first time that I have decided a donation, before seeing the place first, but to be honest listening Happy talking about this place, my heart was sure that this was what I was looking for.
On my way there, Benin showed me its pretty landscape, the pretty colours, but somehow my mind wasn’t there, I just wanted to arrive.
After more than three hours, the broken car left the main road back; we take a dirty sandy road, and suddenly, I felt that I was in another country; the poverty there didn’t hide its reality, and passing through those communities that try to fight hard to accept that they are forgotten, and I found my self in this world that I really love.
Sun was biting hard inside the car, the big smell of sweat and excitation was like a flying aureole inside this broken car when the driver said, we almost there!, a few minutes later one image that I’ll never forget, a huge empty field with some broken constructions, and some huge wonderful mango trees, under one of them a explosion of colours, some adult people with their lovely clothes, under another ones, shouts of happiness, runs to nowhere, we were arrived!!!
Almost 300 students were waiting this moment; I guess they did more than myself, and lots of their parents where there too, the occasion was worth it
After all this confusion, downloading boxes, greetings and saying goodbye to the driver of the broken car, I found myself wrapped with this strange sensation that makes you feel that you are something important, and of course this is because of you all that help me to give some hope.
Mr, Ernest Zogo, the head master of the school was busy with the greetings, boxes etc etc , wile me and the kids were waiting this moment that brings you to cross this imaginary line between, silence and happiness.
They where all there, family, students, teachers, happy, me and those wonderful mango trees, we went under one of them, it was full of pretty fruits, and there the head master talked, some parents too, but for me some words written by one student and read to me was a special moment, wile he was reading he’s lips were trembling softly, and my heart was bombarded of happiness, and my throat blocked the way to my saliva, some clapped hands , some shouted, some laugh and some they were like me, challenging all of those that assure that we cant touch the dreams.
After all the emotions, time to eat came, and as well as the class rooms a wooden construction with a thatch roof was use as a kitchen, under there a few students mothers cook everyday and for free for all of them, the food was excellent and on top of it they do it with a huge smile.
Kids offered me their gratitude with loud laughs, wile parents showed me the darkest part of their realities, but no matter all the problems , they did it , with a huge respect, and thanks to this little gesture, gesture that we don’t measure it in words, countries, miles or adventures, it’s just a gesture with no measure, because for me and for them it was a dream under a wonderful mango tree.
Kids, just kept being kids, and after all the excitation they just left playing, leaving me alone, it was like they wanted to give me the time and the space to realise from far how happy they were, and not this far parents thanked me, and like this the moment to leave arrived, the head master hold my hand and escorted me till the bus station, from there another broken car brought me back to another reality.
In Africa goodbyes are always something special, I can also say that those moments are so cold for a Mediterranean mind like mine, but this time Mr Ernest, did everything to ensure that I could understand their gratitude, and he hugged me strongly, at the same time he whispered me, that he’d love to have meet, Elisabet,Jaume,Josep and Arturo to thank them for their gratitude, but I talked to him not to worry, I know them and I am sure that somehow they were also there, and very happy to have done what they did, me I looked at him and I just wanted to stay, but I had to go.
More hugs, more thanks, and I understood that I had to come back, so I promised him that I will come back , and I will do it, I want to see them again, I want to hug them again, I want to have that feeling again, I just want to seat under this mango tree and dream.
I left the dusty sandy roads, to come back to this polluted city, but this time all of this didn’t bother me much, when I got home I was so exhausted that I felt quickly sleep but before I had plenty of time to enjoy the vision of a wonderful mango tree, under it, shouts of happiness, runs anywhere, I smiled and felt deeply sleep.
A bit of hope under a big mango tree.
HEALTH AND GOOD JOURNEY, NANDO.