Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Severe diarrhea in remote Mali inspired a love note to my wife

While living on the rooftop of a remote Dogon village in Mali, Africa, I was viciously attacked by diarrhea. It controlled me. Three long tiring days and two sleepless nights of seemingly non-stop use of my precious toilet paper. 

By the third day I had no energy, no will to continue the trip. Forget finding myths and archetypal dreams among the Dogon. My sails were slack. I wanted to be home.

Dogon tribe village of Songo. Mali, Africa.
I needed to connect with my wife, Eddi.

Even though most Dogon villages had no electricity, my guide said there was one about a half day's drive with a telephone that probably worked.

Eureka. On the phone, Eddi patiently gave me love, understanding and perspective. She encouraged me to continue the journey. 

The five-minute conversation refilled my deflated seeker's sails.

That night in my journal I  wrote: "How can I ever thank you in this lifetime? Knowing that you still love me while I wallow in despair, kept me going. Like an assuring hand, your voice allowed me to again see the bright stars in the night above me, even while I lay sleepless with non-stop diarrhea. I need you like the bird needs air. No way can I soar with out your voice, your encouragement, your love.
Thank you for loving me.

Dogon tribe buildings below the long abandoned buildings of the extinct Tellem tribe built in the steep cliff above. Finding evidence of an extinct tribe was exactly the kind of situations I sought for my project.

No comments: