On November 6th, I went to bed at 9 pm.
Now that might not seem like anything newsworthy, but for those of you who know my normal nocturnal habits, if this becomes my new normal, it will be a lifestyle change of epic proportions.
But to any of you who have lived anywhere near the equator, where the sun sets around 6 pm, and rises around 6 am, and where electricity is not a guaranteed thing, you realize that using the early mornings just makes sense, and so, by extension, late nights generally do not. And while I have some light options for late into the evening (even when the power is off), realities here are forcing some changes in my behavior.
So where was I? Oh yes. I went to bed at 9 pm. Because there is no power this evening, the local establishments are not blasting their music at immeasurable decibels, so I am asleep quickly. Besides, I AM tired. My Fitbit is regularly registering my daily step count at 10-14,000 steps per day, and my body is still adjusting to living at an elevation of around 7000 feet above sea level. Around midnight I wake briefly to a roll of thunder, but the accompanying patter of steady rain soon lulls me back to sleep.
At 4:54 I wake to the plaintive call from the muezzin calling out the adhan, summoning the Moslems to prayer. Two minutes later the neighbor’s rooster gives his first clarion call. I think some other roosters started earlier than him, but they are far enough away to not disturb me. At 4:59, the second call, or iqama, from the muezzin goes out. I glance at my watch a third time, and the idea of this blog strikes me.
As faint daylight through my skylight window tries to raise my level of consciousness, I drift in and out of sleep til the sonorous cadence of the Catholic church bells at 5:30 filters down our way. Like ecclesiastical snooze buttons, they ring again at 5:45. Moments later, my brain registers the first motorbike horn beeps of the day- I suspect some are ferrying the faithful to early morning mass. I smile at my Baptist persuasions, and roll over under my covers.
Jeff, who loves early mornings (and grew up Catholic for some years), slips out quietly at 5:50, while I still successfully feign being asleep. But at 5:55, the neighboring poultry alarm, having already given me an hour to respond, crows insistently again, and I give up part of the battle, roll over and grab my phone. It seems prudent to jot this series of sounds down in the memo section before I forget.
My smart phone also serves as my low light bible, and so I scroll in my Bible app to Psalm 127, part of my reading for the day. A host of prayer points rise as I read this Psalm- so I pray for my children, who are my heritage from the Lord, for peace and security in this still tumultuous crisis in English-speaking Cameroon, and a few other things. I then claim a bit of Bible promise (He grants sleep to those He loves- verse 2), until by 7:15 it is SO light in my room that sleeping any longer seems just a bit ridiculous.
Good morning, Ndu. I still have 2 hours and 15 minutes before I have to teach today. Plenty of time to dress, cook breakfast (yes- COOK breakfast- cold cereals -those that are available- on cool mornings are rather unappetizing, especially with powdered milk), make a list for my househelp-in-training, get organized for the day and walk up the hill to the academic block. On Friday, Monday and Wednesday I do not have this luxury of a slow start, as I teach English at 7:30 am.
So, I may yet become a morning person. (Although, ironically I am posting this late on a night that I can’t sleep) And since I finally have internet of sorts again, I am able to share this revelation with all of you.