Today, our first morning of 2018, is marked by distinct sounds.
First, the cheers of a community signifying the ticking of the clock past 11:59pm. There was no universal countdown, no ball to watch. The hoots and claps came sporadically but with an honest purpose. As the local imam told us when we gathered around his holy throne, the important thing for this time of transition is that we remain together and remember the value of patience, tolerance and peace. His tenants of Islam.
Now, the familiar sounds of the village as the sun crests the tree line for the first time this year. Donkeys, chicken, goats, wild birds. And the sound of children and women, the men silent. This is the time of youth and familial chores.
And for the first time, the sound of running water from the tap beneath the water tower. We hear the filling of buckets. We hear children laughing as the splashing water hits their faces. We hear speculation about how long the 1,000 liter tank will last before the solar panels are activated by the sun and the pump resumes. We hear happiness.
2018 is going to be a year. We are going to remember, this group, how strong we are together. We are going to remember the Muslim leader and his advice. Each day, I hope we hear also in our minds the sounds of this place.