The Road to Heaven


In Brazil, I was stationed in Glória, "heaven" in Portuguese. This scene was my very first view of the small city in the distance on the horizon, when the Peace Corps director for the state of Sergipe delivered me, my suitcase, and my footlocker to the town in the Peace Corps jeep.          

The countryside was a lush green indicating recent rain. On the dirt road to Glória, we had negotiated many large puddles that hadn't dried yet from the hot tropical sun ten degrees south of the equator. It was near the end of August 1967 and there would still be days of rain ahead, but the rainy season (six months of almost daily rain) was winding down. Once it stopped, we might not have clouds or rain again for six months and there had been years of drought when it hadn't rained at all.         

When I traveled to the capital city, I was always glad when, on the return trip, the bus rounded this curve in the road, and I saw Glória ahead.



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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.