We were invited for a visit by American friends living 104 km away in a very rural town. It’s really an oversized village. They have seven kids, and they are the most amazing children, extremely well adjusted to their surroundings.
They are also hilarious to talk to.
As I sat under the mango tree in the shade. Their four year old daughter Katie pointed to a rusty homemade cage on the porch that contained her parrot.
“I have a parrot, his name is Pretty Bird, and my mom said that if you scare him too many times he’ll die.”
They have two dogs and one of their sons informed us.
“The dogs are named “Jelly” and “Supper”. We had two other dogs we gave away named “Peanut” and “Buttercup”. Peanut we gave to a Bozo. The Bozos eat dogs you know, so Peanut was probably their supper.” (This is totally true about the Bozo ethnic group)
Katie said. “He had a funny horn on his head but we cut his head off and there was a lot of blood.”
You have to love internationals children. They are realists, OK with life as it really is. Don’t have to gloss anything over for them- Like where food comes from and what is required to prepare it.
I wrote this late last night and was going to publish it but I wanted to get a picture of Pretty Bird to go along with the article. So, at 6:20 AM I got out of bed and exited the side bunk house where we were sleeping and took the above photo of Pretty Bird.
When I arrived at the house terrace to snap the bird with my smartphone, as I lifted up the phone for the picture i heard this faint “Cheeeeeeze” from a small boy. I was totally unaware that one of the girls and boys were already up.
I quickly scanned around the yard and about thirty meters away sat these two. They had been sitting there quietly all long. This is exactly how they were sitting together on the rock. This is not a staged picture. The only thing added to the scene when I walked over were the smiles. This is also exactly how they continued to sit together for some time too.
Amazing kids, amazing family. I will not post the family name or location for security reasons. Also, I choose not to because they need to tell their own incredible story. It is theirs to tell, not mine. I dare share only these small snippets where our lives intersected, for I fear I could never do them justice.
They are all doing very well after years in Africa, and I’m privileged to have their kids crawl all over me, and to sit on my knee.
Also, Harley was quite adamant that we understand that Pretty Birds real full name is “Pretty Bird Green”, not just Pretty Bird.
The kids landed home with a new kitten while as we sat visiting. Lynn inquired with the various children as to what the kittens name might become and Zachary offered,
“We seem to name our pets after food.”
I have not giggled this much in a long time.
Little Katie I think may have articulated the fear many have about working in remote areas.
‘If you scare him too many times he’ll die.”
These kids are not afraid, they are not scared.
Do we adults think that if we get a little scared sometimes we will die?
Good question amidst the recient security issues, isn’t it?