It was around 8am and the sun was already scorching hot. Cruising down the road to Bagabaga in a fully air-conditioned vehicle, I couldn’t imagine anyone walking down this dusty road under such harsh conditions. No sooner had this thought crossed my mind when I chanced upon a little girl with a basket of goods, twice her size, on her head.
Geez, I thought, she must be tired, lost, or desperate to be on this road at this time. You see, it was a long-winded road with no view of houses or human activity in sight. Where could she be going all by herself? How long will she carry this load on her head? Is she in trouble? As I hesitantly drew closer to her, I noticed she could not have been more than 10 years old. I became the more curious and slowed down to talk to her. She was pretty to look upon, I must admit, and her smile was oooooo so captivating; the kind that soothed your soul and immediately transported you to heaven on earth. Her eyes were bright and full of hope and her hair was pitch black, rich, and thick.
A barrage of questions flooded my mind and I struggled to control my inquisitive self. Little girl, I asked, what is your name, how are you and where are you going? She replied, my name is Takara, but my friends call me Taks. I’m on my way to the village market. You see, today is a market day and I need to earn a living selling my goods. I have about 2 more miles to go and if I keep walking, I should get there in less than an hour. Intrigued by her zeal, eloquence, confidence, and determination, I kept inquiring. My mind kept wondering how such a brilliant child would be walking down a dusty road on a school day.
Shouldn’t you be in school at this time? Where is your family little girl? The answers to these questions from a random little girl that I chanced upon would send me down a path I never imagined.
(to be continued)