There is one woman that I often pass as I’m walking from my house to the tarred road. She’s an elder of the community, wears traditional clothes, and has yet to remove any of her blankets and scarves although the summer heat is settling in.
We always have a short, basic conversation in Setswana. It’s not because I’m unwilling to try to discuss more, but rather because after I get past the “O tsogile, Mma?” she breaks into laughter. This is no little chuckle either, it’s a full blown guffaw that is absolutely good-natured and lasts long after I have passed her.
I couldn’t seem to figure out why exactly she was laughing. Out of curiosity I asked her one day, “Why are you laughing?” I couldn’t resist laughing a little myself – it’s completely contagious.
“I am happy,” she replied, “I am very happy,” and then continued on her way (still laughing, of course).
Le nna, Mma, I thought. Me too.
The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. –Mark Twain