On an assignment in 2011 I found myself in a town called Ranomafana in the Southeast of Madagascar. I had some free time to explore on my own and getting lost in a town where magic hour lasted longer than any other place I had been too. The women seemed to be the core that held things together. They were the ones competing in the basketball tournament with the whole town watching in excitement. They did the work on the fields, weaved beautiful scarves in a building they had scraped money to buy and trying to make a business by running the store and the fruit markets.
On my last day, driving with some locals in the pitch black of the night with only the moon light shining the way, one of the locals, pressed his finger against the window shield pointing at the full moon and asked my translator to ask me a question: "How long does it take to get to the moon. He says you were in a plane, you must know. He would very much like to go there." When I tried politely to explain you couldn't really go there, he told me "Non sense- of course you can- but how long." So I humored him and said 56 hours and 12 min. The translator must have told him cause he laughed so loud and sincerely- like this was the most wonderful thing possible.
I remind myself quite often of the magic hour that seemed to last forever, the possibility that women can one day be seen as equals and of course I think about this mans respond "Non-sense- of course you can" whenever I need a little bit of encouragement to continue with my work, life and love.