PROVIDENCE’S DESPAIR AND ISOLATION
In this chapter Choosing the possible instead of fighting for the impossible of a given time and situation.
Figuring out the value of meditation especially when dealing with difficult times.
Discovering the loss of neglecting languages.
An erratic time-frame he had to live through, meditating, where nobody else could afford to halt, possibly, a lucrative resource to exploit and indeed an uninvited situation finally found its way into his life. Playing back their deeds that never depicted the willingness to lend him a hand, and there was no way to afford to go to school while all the schools had already started, Providence chose to remain calm and intelligent. He stood in his worn out grey trousers with his back against the wall, where his mind brought back memories of countries which cling on their local languages and pondered how hard life becomes when their citizens happen to seek a refuge in foreign countries. Shortly, he reflected and insisted on education levels, there, he turned his eyes on either side as flies flew all around him. “There must be rubbish close to where he stood”, he guessed. Therefore, he oxygenated his front waving a hard paper he held in his right hand, but a rancid air never stopped to disturb. Astonished, he shook his head and said, “What a shame!” “Imagine if a Ph.Ds. and other degree holder, in a foreign country sweeping the roads to earn money for evening language school.” “Believe it or not, once one finds himself/ herself in such a situation; that is when he/she understands it well,” Providence mused. “More importantly, the voracity for a new language with alacrity to have knowledge of it, forces the wearing off the dignity and give entry to humility in life,” he added. “Inevitably, sometimes war breaks out; and those who know foreign languages have more chances of employment in the refugee camps; if I learn one on my own, when such times come our way, I shall at least be able to talk to foreigners,” Providence imagined.
At 19 years old, Providence devoted his time in finding approaches to upgrade his English. Ideally, a little English of his knowledge facilitated the process of instructing himself until he became fluent. Completely aware of the books, pen, scratch pads and a radio he needed to go ahead with learning, Providence climbed and went down the slopes looking for books which at the end of the day, he brought with him upon his return after incalculable days of searching. Although he was in such an onerous situation, luck coincided since he had acquaintances that were not in a position to lend any money related backings around then; yet who could at least lend him books. She was a lass whose hair was black, dull and elaborately arranged, with brown eyes behind pointy-nose and pouty lips beneath; all in clear smooth black skin. The most remarkable traits about her was her voice, low, clear and without inflection; it fell on the ear as a soft monotony, soothing to the nerves like a pitiful heart scars healing song. Her name was; “Alphonsine;” a young lady who had a little earlier completed her studies at the high school level, and she had English textbooks she could lend him. Providence approached her although he didn’t consider reading books he could without difficult comprehend, and picked a textbook which contained more advanced English words from the text-books Alphonsine possessed. Later on, he consulted Mike who lent him two dictionaries; one of English to English and French to French while Providence himself owned French to English dictionary. With a little money he had, he purchased a radio to tune in to the Voice of America and BBC radio stations. Additionally, Providence sought a scratch pad in which he listed difficult words he would meet in all the texts contained in the book he had chosen.
Where a destitute transform into rich, the despised turns into the cherished and the outlandish turns into the conceivable; that is where the smell of God’s mercy showed up for him to live one more day, if not a month in the world that is different. A slice of God’s endless love, love for Providence to enjoy and wear which no one except him could comprehend. Books he could use were in place, and a suitable time for the journey showed up. Yet, before doing as such, he said to himself, “I am now there,” and he expressed gratitude towards the Lord while on his knees on the ground. Consistently, he would listen to either BBC or VOA from dawn up until the late evening without a break except only at lunch hour. He would listen and listen, at the same time reading English texts from which he would list difficult words. Although he used to frequently accommodate guests, this time, he changed his mind and accepted no visitors which caused the neighborhood to wonder where he might have gone. Honestly, days and weeks passed, if not a whole month without his feet on the nearby road. A new word’s awareness was so captivating that boredom never tried to knock on the door of his mind. Listening to difficult words which he would eventually find in the texts sped his language learning journey at the fastest ever speed that he never managed to achieve before. In his perspectives, a new word acquisition was worth a million in the world’s leading currency of that time. Being in a world of books, BBC and VOA news updates, Providence no longer lived loneliness, but he instead dwelt in the first ever big community; the whole world! According to him, it was a new life of living, loving and improving one’s knowledge where contriteness is beyond human knowledge. Actively listening made his brain strong until when he was even able to repeat a three-minute-long speech in the same words, only after listening once. Additionally, English took the first and irreversible place and time in his life since his dreams and thoughts always came in English and he considered learning a new word a labor of love.
Living in the world where English resides in his full devotion, a place in which he dwelt until the time he commenced forgetting his mother tongue brought him happiness, if not an overwhelming loss of time as one would insanely imagine. However, it was not a loss for him since he was diving deeper into fruitful exercises that made his brain’s recording capacity improve faster than ever before. Like deep sea divers on seabed, like mermaids on seabed sand and once in a while on sea beaches, Providence wore on English mask. A shield he would walk with and use in the asylum country when out of his native country. “He was on a level that he could interact with English-speaking people; why should he worry?” he asked. “Although life was interesting in the English world, it is not enough,” he realized. “They didn’t have a decent house, why couldn’t he work like he did with English to build one and save for schools in a few years ahead?” “He instructed himself in English and this proved his potential to engage himself in tough tasks which entitles him to say, he can,” he added. Soon after, he returned all the books to the righteous owners and thanked them. Witnessing how far he had advanced surprised them and said, “Congratulations for the effort, you can now teach us.” Two months in the hiding! “What kind of person are you?” One of Alphonsine’s brothers sarcastically asked. Alphonsine concluded that it was unbelievable. “If all people live the same way, the world can develop faster,” she added.
Another page flipped, one or two, possibly three if one could count, the door opened and another chance to try came. Another time to relieve Providence, perhaps to turn him wild; an attempt to discourage him if not to strengthen or back his journey to a world of self-reliance where one needs to fight on his own. One day in the afternoon, Providence sat in the shade behind their hut with his back on slotted wooden door listening to the BBC English book club. Meanwhile, he heard a whistle and turned off the radio to have an ear; it was a loud voice from a man summoning residents to a general meeting that was due the same afternoon. Soon after, Providence asked himself whether to attend or not, and in a few seconds, his friend dropped in from the nearby road asking if they could go together. Therefore, Providence rose and stood upright, dusted his grey worn out trousers on the butt and checked the shoes he wore for cleanliness and there he asked what the meeting was about. Jean Damascene his friend cleared his throat and said, “It was about selecting needy students whose parents and guardians’ financial instability deprived students of resuming their studies.” “Perhaps you can be part of the selection for sponsorship,” he added. Finally, they went along listening to Luck Phillippe Dube’s song entitled; “It is not easy.”
While he sat in the crowd on a mown lawn with his heart beating high about to break his chest, a beaten drum-like sound nearby attendees could hear as he waited for luck in life that perhaps might not come his way, hopelessness drew near his heart. The Sector’s executive secretary stepped around in the front of the audience in his black suit, white shirt, red tie and grinning black leather shoes shaking the keys he held in his right hand. As the crowd has been waiting for his speech, the silence lingered. Astonishingly, people who sat near Providence could hear his heart beat and turned their eyes on him. His body diffused sweats, his white shirt stuck on him as he quivered. No moment passed without listening to the speaker calling those whose poverty forced their studies postponement to queue in front for judgement. One lass in a worn out and discolored pink dress dropped in the front and Providence followed. As Providence was joining, the crowd quarreled. “Providence is from a rich family, we are all aware of that, he doesn’t deserve a stipend, and we want him to draw back from the queue.” One by one complained, and to emphasize, one man in black shirt and trousers, brown shoes, and the beige hat stood upright turning his eyes around and clapped to have the crowd’s attention. “That boy wants to cheat, his father owned two cars and a grocery shop in the city center and again, we always find luxury cars parked in their courtyard which belong to his cousins,” he said. “How dare he say he could not afford going to school,” he stated. Anger filled Providence as tears soaked his clear black cheeks and sweats flew from his head to the ground underneath. He left without attending the rest of the meeting. Throughout his journey back home, he was bringing back the alienation he suffered from his father and cousins so he called human kind fierce and wild than forest’s animals except only his mother. “What a hell!” He said loudly. “If the hell existed; human kind is unquestionably responsible for its existence and path shapers to it for their own insane reasons;” Providence added. But for him, doors were open for his choice between heaven and hell, wisdom and ignorance, courage and laziness, kindness and hatred, forgiveness and vengeance.
A time when Christians offered to prove their faith, when preachers of Christ would give love a chance to shine; the wave of darkness veiled the eyes of their souls until love and kindness relocated for hatred to reign. Moreover, another day came for him to campaign for sponsorship’s guarantee in his parish, but Providence never received any relieving feedback. Consequently, he decided that there must not be anyone willing to lend him a helping hand and trusted God only. Frankly, a lonely tree grew on the mountain top where the wind from all directions never stops blowing; pushing it to all sides would depict Providence’s alienation. Where a victory is far beyond human being’s knowledge, but a trip only one’s mind makes when given a chance to walk through calmness and loneliness; that is a store in which kept joy and triumph under the veil of wealth.
Hours counted down and the days passed while his mind took him to a place where fruitful ideas reside to pick his own since he had no room for meaningless records on his mind, he left with another plan. Luckily, he had a friend who had more fertile lands suitable for growing corn so Providence decidedly approached him and asked if he could rent from him some lands to where he wanted to grow crops, fortunately, Providence’s friend agreed. Consequently, happiness filled Providence’s heart and he clapped his hands, smiling. Surprisingly, Providence would dig from the dawn until the late evening, while both the rain and burning sunny days could not discourage him. Frankly, he had daily tasks to complete individually, so sweats would keep flowing down his body from the sunrise until the sunset. As a consequence, eyewitnesses would ironically name him Samson, although he was thin and short.
Luckily, it rained as needed for the crops to grow well, so he would get enough returns from the field. Concurrently, after the first farming season, Providence built a house of metal roofing with the money he earned from the corn plantation. Earnestly, Providence and his mother had a small hut made of mud brick walls and a roof made of dry banana sheaths. Whenever it rained, it would leak and they would unavoidably spend sleepless nights under an umbrella to protect themselves and shelter their belongings. Beforehand, he had a plan to build a decent house; however, once or twice he mulled and decided that it would be preferable to save for school since he hoped that he would get employed after secondary school’s completion and get plenty of money that would cover the building cost in a short time. Planting Aubergine came second in priority since such crops was in short supply in the region where he has been staying. Eventually, the savings from his plantation tallied up to the sum of money that covered two years’ school fees and other related expenses. Additionally, with the savings he had, he prepared himself for school.