I am in the middle of a corn field in Tanzania with a team of technicians looking for water points. The sun beats down relentlessly on my head and I have forgotten my sunscreen so am constantly looking for shade. We drive to potential water points with 10 people jammed in the car. We stop to get out and the team needs us to move away so that cell phones and metal are not near the sensitive equipment they are using for the magnetic survey. Our driver disappears and we need him to move the car and we discover he left the area to go fishing. He returns. We are waiting, we are looking, we are standing, we are sitting. The team returns and the crowd can now be close so we follow them. They measure, they write, they calculate, they hammer under the hot sun. The sweat rolls off our skin. We take a break to eat water melon. Our hands are sticky from the fruit. We move to another point and have to lift the measuring tape to let the cows pass. I leave to sit with a family nearby so that I can borrow the shade from a tree. We laugh, we look, they talk, I listen. They bring peanuts from the garden. We peel, we eat, I listen. The team returns. We pile into the car. The air is still. We are in the village. The ladies have prepared food. We eat, we talk, I listen. The sun is setting. The kids are laughing. The men play their game. The ladies are talking. I look, I smile, they talk, I listen.
We can pick and choose the memories that define our life and piece them together like a puzzle.