Body Space

EWB has a cool way of asking “how are you doing?” that they call “head space, heart space, and body space”. Pretty self-explanatory, I think  – head space if how you are doing intellectually/mentally, heart space is how you are doing emotionally, and body space, physically. I would write about all three, and may do so eventually, but today my “body space” is by far the most interesting.

Most notable currently is the burning sensation in my knees. It seems unlikely that my knees would be burnt, seeing as I don’t wear anything in Ghana that shows my knees. However, I went to farm with the ladies today, so rules that like don’t count, and I figured I would use the opportunity to tan more than just my lower leg. Result – burnt knees. Bad idea.

My legs are quite sore, but that is for a far better reason. Yesterday I had my first training run! I was up before 5am and in my running shoes by 5:30, running a total of 12km up and downhill. I am preparing for a half-marathon in October, the Run To End Poverty (happens with the Toronto Scotiabank marathon). But the point is, I am clearly out of shape and now my legs hurt.

I cannot fail to mention the taste in my mouth, which I think can count in “body space”. I kindly was given some fresh milk from a friend yesterday, which I forgot to drink until today. It was boiled just now to ensure it was safe, but somehow with having been boiled twice and left to sit for far too long, the milk curdled and turned sour. I still drank an unnecessary amount of it, leaving a bile-like taste in my mouth even now that I have brushed my teeth.

My arms are a little tired, maybe from having carried my laundry quite far yesterday. It hasn’t rained in over a week so we don’t have much water at home. Saadah decided to walk to the roadside and use the water flowing there, and I happily accompanied her. I am still not skilled at carrying things on my head, however, so carrying buckets with wet clothing is a struggle for my weak arms.

My hair is wet because I just had my (3rd last! Ah!) bucket bath under the stars.

My skin is darker than it was this morning, and now you can tell which part is tan, whereas earlier I couldn’t be sure. Spending a day at farm leaves you coated in a layer of dirt.

I have been doing better about not itching my mosquito bites/picking my scabs, but even still there are scars or wounds spotting my arms and legs. (Mom, don’t worry, I’m still healthy).

My nose is pink and peeling a little bit.

My fingernails have some orange residue on them from when I painted my hands with zabla (think henna) at the wedding.

You may think that this sounds like a pitiful state of physical being, but it’s actually quite wonderful. It’s nice to feel physically exhausted and to use my body to do work. It’s humbling to know that little mosquitoes and rays of sun can overpower me. It’s great that I get orange nails and leg scars to serve as souvenirs when I get home. I know when I am showering with running water, using a laundry machine, and buying peanuts from the story rather than harvesting them myself, I will wish I was back in this body space.

2 responses to “Body Space

  1. Looking forward to seeing you soon – peeling nose, itchy bites and all. And can’t wait to hear all your adventures – and I want to see you carrying a bundle on your head! Love always

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