4 days in... / by Robin Eagan

     Scheduled 8 hour black outs in sweltering heat make it quite difficult to sleep. Without fans circulating the air the mosquitos love to come in & feast. The mosquito net protects my skin but I can still hear their annoying screech. So I use the sweet songs of Morrissey to sing me back to sleep. Early mornings consist of toast & instant coffee flavored with chicory. Some volunteers are awake & aware & others are walking zombies. While I think I'm somewhere in between. 

     The walk to my placement is about 5 kilometers or 3 miles if you're like me. We walk through sands & streets, shops & trash heaps, glares & smiles all the while children waving frantically hi & bye as we pass through. I'm commonly greeted with a smile & thumbs up as I say hi to those that I pass by. Some show respect with a wave & then a touch of the chest. While others seem unsure yet give a little smile because they can't resist. It's in their nature to be kind. 

     As soon as I walk in the kids swarm, staring & grabbing my arms. Asking me stories or spelling out the words on my skin. They put their arms against mine hoping the tattoos are contagious. They are truly fascinated, for them it is such a rare sight too see. We talk about life goals, there are future pilots, soldiers, lawyers & accountants.  We play futbol & do chores. Some kids cling to me & others are a little tough to get through. There is a breaking dancing crew, that have been teaching me moves while I kick out the jams through my phone. 

     At the end of the day the heat & lack of caffeine have taken their toll. So instead of a walking we cab it back home for a shower & quick nap. Sometimes we group up & go out to town & sometimes we all just lay around, hoping the wifi will work so we can contact our loved ones back home.