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Paulo, Hakuna Mikono

Paulo, Hakuna Mikono, originally uploaded by Robin Manuell.

Then we are away again. Despite the length and ferocity of the rain fall there is surprisingly little evidence it was ever here. For half an hour the road is perhaps a little firmer, the dust less treacherous but soon the road is dry again. We take a detour into a nearby town to buy batteries for my camera and some cold Fanta. Three loud young men, sitting smoking in the centre of the market call out to Paulo and a conversation develops. I can see Paulo is looking sheepish and uncomfortable and I guess, correctly that the young men are asking for money- 2000 shillings for bringing the mzungu into the market. Constantine comes over to join in the conversation. I have my own way of dealing with this kind of thing and I greet one of the women selling vegetables. She laughs along with me and points at my dirty feet. Would you like me to wash them for you she jokes? I figure if the young men are going to be idiots then it’s a good idea to have the women on my side. The gossip changes and I hear the words mzungu and kisukuma spoken. People appreciate the effort, no matter how small. We ride away, the afternoon heat now intense and overbearing and within half an hour we arrive at the house of Madonnia, Constantine’s father.

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