Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Day and Night (07/10/14)
- TITLE: Laka is the Moon and I am the Sun
By Jennifer Rubino Champion
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My husband, Roy is sitting next to Johma and he is laughing too. I feel sorry for Laka but he does not seem to notice. He continues to braid my hair with a skill that would make Latifah over on 43rd Street back home quite envious. I pick up a rock and throw it at my husband. It hits him square in the left temple. This action of mine turn laughs into roars and soon the entire camp is rolling around. It is now my husband they are waving their fingers in the air about. Strange, my husband is no longer laughing.
Johma straightens out his arms and lifts them up and down to signify that it is time for all to calm down because he has something to say. Everyone quiets and the women join our circle. Johma looks at me with gentle intensity and smiles. Laka finishes his last braid and sits next to me. Johma cannot speak English so our interpreter for this trip, Malik interprets Johma’s words.
“We welcome you and your husband to our village. We are a people that love to be joyful. I am the chief of this people. My destiny is to be like the sun. It is large. It is the brightest. It is what keeps the food we eat growing and sustains us. I am the biggest man in our people. I keep our people fed and they are happy.” Johma smiles after he speaks and looks at me puffed up and proud. I glance at my husband who is a few feet from me trying to teach a young man and girl how to play tic-tac-toe in the sand. I throw another rock at him. It does not hit him but sends the message that this is a time to be serious and not play games in the dirt.
I nod to the interpreter to signal that I would like to say something. He nods back in agreement and I begin, “Chief Johma, thank you for having us. It appears you are a respected chief of your people and that you do a good job.” I pause for a minute and watch my husband’s face turn pale “But what about Laka here? He seems to be the butt of your people’s jokes. It is not very nice. He is almost as large as you.”
Half expecting Johma to run us out of camp, I brace myself for the worst; however, Laka starts to laugh instead. He pats me on the shoulder and speaks. Malik interprets for us again.
“My brother Johma is the sun. He is larger and stronger than I. I am the moon and our people cannot have the sun, Johma without the moon, Laka. The moon is powerful and pulls our waters away so we can get the meaty crabs we love. I am like the moon. I pull my people away from the bad so they can get the meat they need that is your Jesus. I am the one that wrote to you. I am Laka, the village priest.” I blush with embarrassment and smile at Laka.
I tell him thank you and glare at my husband again. Now he is doing shadow puppets with the couple. To be a preacher, he sure doesn’t act like one. Laka catches me scowling at my husband who would rather play than lead these people.
Laka continues to speak. “Your husband, he is a priest too?”
I nod in agreement.
“He is like the moon and you are like the sun, correct?” At first when I heard Laka say this, I looked at Johma. He is a robust man and I thought Laka’s statement was insulting since I am slightly overweight. Then, I realize what Laka means.
The wind blows again and I nod in agreement. Every moon needs a sun. Laka needs Johma. I need my husband. We all need Christ.
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