Friday, October 15, 2010

Fun with fire and other good toys

Evenings are my favorite time of the day around here. The sun instead of scorching, in it’s usual style, paints the sky in the most beautiful colors in all directions here. It is a rare time when the kids are occupied and content, knowing it is too late to ask for new games or anything that must be purchased and too early for medicine or study materials. There is always a group playing football at the center of the compound just outside the office door, and a group playing games around the steps and a group gathered around the kitchen waiting for dinner. I love sitting on the steps at this time watching the sky, playing games or seeing who will win the soccer match today.

I stepped outside yesterday to take it all in when my attention was drawn to a reflection of the orange sun in a patch of grass across the compound. This reflection came in the form of our 11 year old queen bee, Kasara, and her bff, Lilly, sparing with large branches of fire while the grass lit up below them. As they were jousting their weapons of flame, about 4 of our youngest daughters were dancing and jumping in the sparks and smoke.


Just as I am about to run as fast as I can to strangle Kasara, I realize I have left a three year old in front of my computer as well as two other kids in detention with all our valuables in the office. After shooing everyone out and closing the office door I rush outside and am stopped by a truck full of men and our friend Pasquali . I politely say excuse me “I just need to stop something”. The truck full of men got a good laugh at the frantic white woman running across the compound, but I was too busy trying to remember if I learned anything about burn wounds in the first aid book I was reading earlier that day and imagining 6 year old Nonyo’s blue dress going up in flames.

This is how it went down:
Me: “Kasara! Stop what you are doing right now!”
Kasara : “We are putting out fire”
Me: “Really, cause this is how you put a fire out” as I quickly smother and stomp the branches and grass
Kasara : “We were just playing with fire” she says indignant and confused

That’s right, just playing with fire.

I will add this to the list of things our children think are perfectly good toys. This list includes aerosol cans of bug poison (most fun to try to smash open with rocks!), razor blades, sheets of plastic tied tightly around their necks and over their heads, rusty nails and rusty machetes (really anything that could cut you and give you tetanus is a wonderful toy). I have seriously taken all of these things away from our children.

Miraculously we haven’t had any children die or even that seriously injured and in my book that is a win. I have seen some toe nails ripped off, but who needs toenails anyway?


  1. Wonderful post Sarah! I was seeing in my mind the beauty of living on the edge of Nimule with the curving Nile off in the distance, the children at play and at rest after a hot day. I can almost smell the smoke from all the cook fires in the air. Then the reality of all the hazards of being a child in that environment. Makes one realize the mercy and grace of God more than ever. Thanking God for you.

  2. oh my word! I laughed so hard! I really need to keep up on reading the blog this was SO funny. Gotta LOVE KASARA! Please tell her I love and she is my girl forever:)