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  • When I arrived to Mindful Farm Papa was sitting by the fire stripping bamboo very efficiently with his well worn machete. The tools around the farm are simple, machete, hammer, rake and ho. I was mesmerized watching him quickly shave off several small bands from the stalk. I learned later each would be used to tie down the thatched roofing on the mud huts.

    Papa is not Pi Nans father, but he is a strong patriarchal presence. Fervent, lucid and gentle. He works hard and rests only for food and a daily shower.

    Papa and Dominic (the other volunteer on the farm) had quickly developed a bond. The type you see between family, grandfather to grandson. At every meal they would jokingly pass each other their half eaten chili pepper, taking the first bite and challenge each other to taking the next. It was a nice daily ritual. It's what takes place of words, gestures. It was nice to share these moments without sharing the same language. Magical, sImple and true.

    Also - Papa sang songs while working.

    One day, for the hell of it, I began singing "You Are My Sunshine". My Grandmother Shepherd would sing while she would do her chores and cooking in her kitchen when I was a child. So it stuck with me.

    Minutes later I heard Papa singing the same song, laughing to himself.

    One of my favorite moments for sure.

    Sadly I did not catch it on audio.
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