Saturday, June 17, 2006


Today I went for a walk with Sisi and Sirus (the two dogs that follow me when I walk). Sisi is a very large Ridgeback and has only one eye. Sirus (the virus) is a very small bristly haired mutt that likes to pick fights with dogs that are five times as big as he is.

We walked to the natural spring that is by my flat. For a while, I sat on a dirt pile and watched children gather wood and water for their families. The children that gather wood and water can be very young. I saw two boys around the age of 5 carrying small metal axes to help them gather wood.

There was a small group of children at the spring. They kept waving and yelling to me. Whenever I would wave back, they would laugh and cheer. It was a happy little game that we played for a short time. The children would alternate who would wave at me. I think they were trying to see if they each, in turn, could get the same response from me. It is rare for white people to be in the Location, and even more rare for them to wave back at children.

After the group of children had gathered some water from the spring, they walked to a group of nearby trees and began throwing rocks up into the branches of the trees. I was thinking they must be trying to knock some sort of fruit down. I was wrong; they were trying to knock a certain type of dried pod down from the tree branches. I'm not sure what they were going to do with the pods. Up North, I know that people feed them to goats, but there are not many goats here. I have tried to burn the pods myself, and I can tell you that they don't burn very well.

I walked over to the children, and used my slingshot to help shoot some pods down. They did not know what to think of the strange white man, with two mismatched dogs, and a slingshot. At first, only one boy was standing by me (the others had retreated to a nearby tree). The brave boy quickly called the other children over to me, when he determined that I was safe.

Another boy pulled out his own, home-made slingshot, and together we shot down pods.

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