Do you remember when you were a child and you would play on the swings? At first it would be a struggle; scraping your feet on the ground, leaning backwards and forwards to gain momentum, throwing your weight around to defy gravity. And that feeling you get once you started to soar, as though the chains that held your seat in place were not there. Higher and higher so that your heart would fly into your mouth every time that you drew back.
In this village, there is no play equipment; no slide, no swing, no monkey bars. But so many children Chris. Everywhere. With big curious eyes, with smiles that reveal shyness and with souls that are carefully nurtured by community spirit.
I watch one boy pump water from the well located in the middle of a dry and dusty school ground. The handle he grabs almost as long as he. The pressure he has to use to push the handle, more than his weight can manage. But I watch him bouncing up and down as if an invisible trampoline were placed beneath his feet. Each push resulting in a burst of water which spurts into his steel pot. He grins with a mixture of pride and joy as I watch him, using all the weight in his body to move the pump.
With every push he soars higher, gaining momentum and almost defying gravity. The broad smile on his face never leaves him. The water overflows from the pot and he comes to an abrupt stop. Picks up his filled pot, mounts it on his head and walks along the dusty path back home.
Playtime is over.