Seeking Sunrise and Sunset

June 21, 2012
It shouldn’t be that hard to see the sun rise and set in a place where the rising happens after six am and the setting happens around seven pm. When I used to stay at the JDF Lost Boys clinic, the rising sun greeted me through my huge tent windows. I used to cover my eyes to stay in that dreamy just-awakened state. Soon the unzipping and zipping of tent doors, the creak and clang of the supply container doors, and the voices of the other early risers announced the day. At dusk, the expansive view to the west offered a gorgeous sunset except when the overcast sky obscured it.

I’ve been at the ASAH School compound for 11 days, and today was the first time I witnessed either. I’ve been meaning to rise early enough to catch the rising sun, but my tukul is dark dark dark, and though the light peeks through the two tiny windows, it isn’t enough to rouse me, and there is no colorful view to entice me from my bed. I am generally wakeful early mornings, but I haven’t been willing to brave the early a.m. mosquitos. Until today.

I jumped up at the first hint of light, grabbed the videocamera, and found I had to walk all the way to our garden to see the sun rise. Our housing area is completely surrounded by trees which makes for lovely shade – a comfortable respite from the often-blazing sun, but it also blocks the view. Today’s sunrise was unspectacular for Africa. It can do better. So I’ll take another shot tomorrow.

The sunset, however, did not disappoint, though I had to walk to our volleyball court which is near our temporary kitchen, the security guard’s tukul, and the gate to see it. Still, that meant viewing through the fence, and I wanted a picturesque “framed by trees” view. Through the gate just ahead to a spot where a couple of palms, one silhouetted in the foreground, one in the middle ground, shaped color around the gorgeous flaming orange ball as it sunk into the horizon.

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