Simple Moments.

Meet little Mialy, Mia, and their father…known simply as Baba. They—along with 15 other siblings—made up my host family during a time spent in the arid region of southern Madagascar, where I was doing research on the Antandroy communities. 

I often think back to this family with bittersweet fondness. When I was there, I was profoundly inspired by their love for life and their appreciation of the simple joys it brings…while endlessly cheered by their wide grins and generous laughter.

But now, when I glance at this photo, their visage seems to reveal a truth much deeper…and my heart aches a little. 

Nevertheless, the sound of their laughter will remain with me forever, and I am thankful to have met them…and grateful for the lessons they taught me in treasuring the simple moments in life. 


26 replies »

  1. I took Anthropology last year and found it so interesting and enjoyed the class so much more than I had expected to. I would love to be able to travel and do research and learn about other people and cultures as you mention here.

  2. Glad to have you back. I now understand why you have not been posting your wonderful stories . Thank you for sharing this one.

  3. I’ve been reading African history, from ancient times ’til thee 1970’s and am amazed at how little knowledge we have of the great African civilizations of the past, and how Europe has ‘broken’ them. And I feel sad.

    As I approach 75 years of age, I wear two badges of honor. One commemorates my survival of two strokes and my wife’s slow descent into dementia. The other, a rebirth through blogging at where I TRY to focus on the psychosocial aspects of aging. The rewards of doing good works is invigorating, as I’m sure you know.

    Thank you.

  4. Phoebe, I can see how this photo would strike a cord of poignant memories and how it can touch your heart because you see beyond the smiles and the joy you had with them.
    Thank you for sharing this beauty, lovely lady. You are a true inspiration. 💙

  5. I hear your words and know the deeper thoughts behind your words. I, too, had the privilege to work in a similar situation in the mountains of Mexico some years ago. What I learned from the people there has influenced me through the years and I find myself wishing I had understood more in those younger days. Thank you for your writing.

  6. Oh I see so much in those faces….I know you did and still do as well. It’s wonderful you got to meet people from all places – it gives one a more balanced picture of the true state of humanity and life here on this earth of ours. We have missed you!

    Hugs, Pam and Teddy too

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