Aug 15, 2011

Simple pleasures

It's day 14 back in Canadialand. Yes, I'm still counting the days to remind myself of lessons learned.

I draw pleasure from simple mundane things these days, like Popeyes fried chicken for example.

In my two-and-half months' stint as a jhr intern in Ghana, I only ate meat once. (Well, I might have unknowingly ingested bits of meat on several occasions, but I only knowingly ate meat on one occasion and it was halal.) Consequently, I not only craved meat in general but I also longed for the greasy, MSG-laden crispiness of Popeyes fried chicken. So when Abah suggested we break our fast at the only Popeyes outlet in Brantford, my head automatically bobbed up and down in agreement.

Now, fast-food-chain fried chicken is hardly our typical Ramadan feast. But then again, I’ve been lucky enough to see happiness in people who have a lot less than I do (to say that they have nothing at all would be a gross exaggeration, if not a sign of ignorance). I’ve seen people carry heavier loads, walk farther distances and endure hotter suns in a day than I have had to endure in my entire life. I find it a little bit harder to complain about things now. Too bad I had to go on a $5000-internship half-way across the globe to learn this but I suppose every lesson has a price.

As I write this, I can’t help but see how inconsequential this seems. But then I remember feeling absolutely contented on the drive home from Popeyes; the most important people in my life are alive and well, I’m doing what I love most in life, my belly is full and I have a home to go back to. My happiness is the sum of little inconsequential parts and I’m thankful that I have the capacity to recognize them. I hope I stay this way.

The sun made a beautiful display of receding elegently behind the funeral home across from Popeyes as we were leaving. The day couldn't have had a better ending.

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