I can still hear the call to prayer, mournfully winding its way from the nearest minaret at 4:30 AM. A nearby rooster joins his voice with the call, making sure that we know the sun is peeking over the horizon.
The mornings and evenings are bearably cool, unlike the days. I always imagined it would be dry and dusty here, but it’s green, purple, blue…the city is dusty, yes, and I feel self-conscious there: a WHITE woman with blonde hair. But I love this rural village pocket, the sounds of a celebration (a wedding feast maybe?) down the road, late into the night. I stayed awake, waiting for friends to come back to the apartment, and listened to the celebration.
There are also sheep.
Sometimes I worry I’ve over-romanticized it in my memory, and I’m sure I have to a degree. All I remember is love, though; loving the people, the air, the food, the light, the night time, the sunset, the rolling hills, the fields. I loved it at that moment. Five years later, I love it still.