The evening approached quickly as the pink, blues, and purples soaked the sky. We finished our church service with the nationals and began our journey back to the compound for dinner. To pass the time, our team walked down the road to meet our driver. Children raced passed us playing games. Men lifted their tools to head home. The women lifted their jugs of water onto their heads and trekked down the red dirt road.
We scuffled our feet in that red dirt for a few minutes until the driver picked us up. As I glanced over the landscape, I noticed how the rich sky made the dirt roads roar with its deep red foundation. In the field to our left, seeds grew into vegetable gardens as the roots dug down deep into the ground. In the middle of this path, the children played. On the sides of the road, we walked beside men and women who began to their journey home.
This dirt marked every inch of their lives. The red dirt paved the roads, but also gave them grounds to grow food, and even created bricks for their homes. The red dirt did more than just provide for their lives, but it marked my own life as well. This dirt left a stain on my life that could never be washed out. The dirt roads of Lilongwe led me to some of the most honorable men, women, and children. The red dirt gave us a home to start a church, gave us a ground to walk on, mud to make bricks, and a place for the mango tree to take root.
I was born and raised on the Red Dirt Roads of Texas, but the Red Dirt Roads of Lilongwe filled my life with a richness that roared. That night, we said our goodbyes. Like the red dirt soaked my shoes, these people soaked my heart. Today, I remain thankful for the grounds that raised those men and women I so dearly admire.
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