Thursday, 24 November 2011

20th November

Since it is Sunday today, we thought we would go for a drive with Clara, Sophie and Camilla. Someone had said that there was a lake nearby and so we planned to have a walk around this. However, just as we were ready to set off, Jeremy opened the car window and there was a horrible cracking sound as the window collapsed at one end. It was impossible to get the window back straight in the door and so we had to remove the inside panel of the door – not an easy task. It turns out that there is a plastic panel that connect the glass to the door mechanism and this had broken. At least it wasn’t the glass that was cracked. Luckily our car repair kit contained some superglue to repair the broken panel. When I opened the glue, however, the heat had put the tube under pressure and the glue shot out like a water fountain, covering the glass, my hands and some of my hair. Despite my mild panic about being permanently fixed to the tube of glue, I managed to stick the broken panel and we put the window and door panel back. So as not to be totally defeated, we went for a little drive to a nearby village, had a drink in the ‘bar’ where everyone thought it hilarious to see our white faces, and then returned back to the campus. Oh well, I’m sure that we will get a trip out soon. In the meantime, I am a bit worried about whether the repair job will last and so we have decided not to open the car window.
 Camilla got back to her house this afternoon to find a woman and a 2-year old child waiting for her. It turns out that the woman doesn’t have a husband and being just 17 years old, she is keen to continue her education as she sees this as the only way to get a job. She hands Camilla a note that informs her that the woman would like her to take care of her child so that she can go back to school. After reading the note, the woman hands the rather stunned child over to Camilla and tries to leave her with her.  Much to the woman’s disappointment, Camilla hands the child back and tells her to leave. There is a sense here in the town that women are always on the lookout for a faranj who might take their child to a ‘better’ place. Yet when you go out to the villages, you are met with a very different reception. Here, the children all seem to look after each other whilst the parents work on the land and maintain the house. Faranjis are uncommon here though and so people haven’t got used to the notion of a ‘better’ life in the West. There seems to be some acceptance of their lot. For example; for a lifetime, women carry loads of wood on their back that I can barely lift off of the ground. This leaves them totally crippled and bent double by the time they reach the age of 40. But still they continue to do this. And their children will take over this role when they are old enough – about age 7 or 8.

1 comment:

  1. Luckily there weren't any surprise packages secreted in the door panel...
    Desperately sad about women trying to give their babies to complete strangers for hope of a better life. Have been thinking about what will happen to baby Jaba - do you know? xxx