Our day started off with us eating a quick breakfast of plantains, scrambled eggs, a mountain of bread with peanut butter and jelly (I refrained the whole week from indulging in bread due to gluten intolerance) and fresh pineapple which I got to enjoy much of during the week. After we got to the land rovers, packed with our supplies, we were off on our grand adventure.
Our first stop was Philomath Secondary School and each grade had a performance for us, including singing, answering science questions, to one young gal reciting every book of the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. Each child was dressed in maroon and white uniforms.
After we left the school, we traveled over a couple hours of paved road toward the village. Then a couple of more hours along pay dirt. You know, those country roads, full of potholes, good for 4-wheeling or mud-trucking? That kind of road. Along the way, some school children who probably were making their long trek home – children walk between a mile or four miles each day to school and back to their village. The children saw our caravan full white people and chased after our vehicles yelling, “Apato! Apato!” (White person! White person!) They put all their energy into chasing us down, some even held onto the sides of the vehicles for a ride.
If they happened to see our cameras, they would yell out: “Snap! snap!” They wanted photos of themselves, which in this visual driven-society that I come from, where technology is rampant, it tore me to pieces. How I wished later that I had thought to bring a Polaroid camera that would take their pictures and spit out a lasting print for those children to hold onto. I know that my heart is stamped with the imprint of their beautiful smiles, eyes, teeth and skin. I pray that whatever path you travel, each person you encounter throughout your life, that you would live in such a way that you leave behind an imprint of beauty.