|Cradling a mud-baby|
Two sisters came to my door, covered in mud and giggling. Both were carrying bundles of cloth. One sister nudged the other, and they clamored up the stairs.
I noticed their approach and put down the papers I was grading. "What's that you have there?" I asked. "Who's that in that towel?"
The girls giggled and bumped into one another. Both of them shuffled closer, and one of the girls handed me a tightly-bundled stretch of cloth. It was surprisingly heavy for its size, and also rather hard. Inside was a sculpted wad of mud.
"A baby," she said.
"Ohhhh," I said. "I see. Yes, this is a baby."
"Her name is Lucinda," the girl continued. Then she grabbed the other bundle from her sister, "And this one is Fatima."
"Oh," I said. I dandled the mud-wads lovingly. "And are they sisters just like you?"
A silence fell, and the little girl frowned. She looked at me like I was stupid. "No," she said. "They're cousins."
Of course they were.
|Mud Baby Cousin 1|
|Mud Baby Cousin 2|
And off went the girls, to show somebody else.
I sat there thinking about them long after they'd left. These little girls never cease to amaze me. They're so clever and creative. And they simply don't get bored. They make do with the smallest things, and they find such joy and happiness.
And I, in turn, find happiness with them.
If there's anything that Peace Corps has taught me, it's been to appreciate the little things. And to embrace a simpler way of life.