One Step Beyond – Angola – People – Celestina Hashihali
My name is Celestina. I am the mother of five children. I live with my neighbors and friends in the neighborhood of Cavango. I get along well with my neighbors and friends. I only have problems with my husband. I want to leave him – he got himself another woman.
When one of my daughters was very ill, I lived in the community of Cangumbe. I was determined to take her to the Luena hospital for treatment. In the evening, we reached Cachipoque. The people we were travelling with said we should sleep there.
That night I had a dream – a corpse was brought to me on a stretcher. I saw how afraid I was, and how I tried to run away from the dead. I woke up and was deeply shocked. I prepared a meal for my daughter, but I didn't eat as I had an infection in my mouth. Also, I just couldn't get the dream out of my mind.
We set out, and I was deep in thought, absorbed by the nightmare. We walked for some time and arrived at the Lumege River. There, we took the bags off our heads and rested awhile. I had a strange feeling, and mentioned it to my children. I was pregnant at the time. Then I said, "Chachacha – children! The imprints of the Faplas soldiers' boots, which we have been following, have disappeared from the road! We're close to a village – let's stop there for the night."
So we walked towards the village. Then I was lifted into the air – whooo! And I was dashed down – shocking! Then I was baffled when I looked down at my leg – my foot was missing!
Then I said, "Eeeh, that's why I dreamt about a dead pregnant woman, whose innards were hanging out to here. I was dreaming about myself." The others were upset that I hadn't said anything earlier. They said, "If you had told us that, we would have forced you to stay at home and saved your life."
The road is actually quite wide. It's wide because it leads to a village. There are fields on both sides. We were actually able to hear some villagers' voices from the road. Here, exactly at the edge of the village, I stepped on the mine. It was a main road; there were fields on both sides. Soldiers like to take this road.