I fell over a few days ago and twisted my ankle, while planting peanuts of all things. One of the old ladies in the village spotted me hobbling around on sticks and within an hour she'd arranged for one of the younger neighbours to visit to check up on me (she can't walk far enough to visit herself). He turned up with a huge bag of oranges, which although they looked pretty average were the sweetest I've ever tasted. He handed over the bag as I stood on the doorstep and then dropped to his knees and started massaging my ankle, ignoring the screams, until he'd pretty well cured it. It brought it home to me that this village had always been self-sufficient and that 'healing' was a duty performed by everyone to everyone else. Another old lady, who can still walk pretty well, called round the next day to check on my progress. And then yesterday the first old lady's son came to visit her, and she sent him round to deliver a box of chocolates she'd bought for me from the mobile shop, along with her best wishes. He also explained how grateful he was that we had moved into the village and how much everyone here valued us for helping them out when they needed it, saying that we'd brought 'new life' to the village.
I feel a bit of a fraud as the ankle is only twisted, not broken, but I'm so incredibly touched by the warmth these people have shown me. When we moved here, we'd been told that the village was basically 'one big family' and I'm beginning to realise just what that means. And even for a self-declared hermit like me it's a bit of a pleasant realisation.