Listening Sawa Sawa


Early this morning I was woken up by the mosque next door, blaring the salaam (or peace) of God, in Arabic. After the man finished his prayer, I attempted, more like struggled, to go back to sleep, determined to achieve the “healthy” eight hours. But then a bat flipped around, screaming its protest for the sun’s arrival, instigating the waves of sounds that kept me from the four stages of sleep. From the increasing population of motorbikes, people walking, children stomping around, telling with excitement, car alarms arbitrarily resounding throughout the one lane neighborhood street, the dogs barking vociferously at all the previous sounds and just because they could. I finally accepted that I was no longer going to be under the spell of dreams and drool.


Even though it would be wonderful to still be tangled in the bed covers, dreaming of some strange world, I just have to accept that I am in a new country, surrounded by the people’s daily life. Since I chose to live here, I chose their lifestyle as well, for the most part. Waking up early will be one of the many changes and additions to this hemisphere. While I may still be stumbling along this new place as kids zoom past me, my sun is slowly rising in this new place of the Earth we share.


My sun might be buried beneath clouds, by the heat of the rays are pushing them aside so I can eventually see Indonesia, the streets, the people, the daily prayers, down to the dust particles floating in the sun. My time here has just begun, life beginning after morning prayers.

Sawa sawa means together in Arabic. Yesterday we visited a sawah, or rice patty, in Indonesia and decided to use the term sawa to connect the both.