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Lakeside sunset


Lakeside sunset, originally uploaded by Robin Manuell.

The evening meal is ugali and the fish. The women and children get the tail and final third of the fish and we get the body and the head. I gaze longingly over at the succulent, easily accessible flesh of the body, just out of reach in the other bowl and resign myself to the honour of dissecting the head. After we have eaten I use the camouflage of night to have a shower, cleansing myself all over with the water in the bucket then pouring the soupy water over my head and shoulders. I stand in the cool night air, swaying from side to side, letting the wind and the movement dry me, listening to the litany of calls and cries echoing around the village. Putting on my night gear I feel relaxed and weary in that lovely dreamy way you can after a long hot bath.

As we sit around the candle light we are visited by two alien visitors – tiny mantis, their arms stretched out in prayer to the candle light. Their eyes seem to take in everything as they look from the candle to the flies that buzz around, to the faintly glowing faces hovering in the air above it. Can they see me? Do they comprehend the light and the shadows? I drift into sleep wondering just how much they know…

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