Island in the sun
Snaking trough the hills the Zebu track winds up into the clouds and then down it goes again. How I hate the down, because that means swamp again and there is no way around it. You must go through it, knee deep mud and slush with a shinny mercury like layer baking in the sun, you break that surface and the pong is out. You sink into the slush and there is only one thing that gets you through, just accept it, there is no use fighting it.
Every swamp is also the sign of a village, this is where the rice is grown, so on the little tuft of high ground you will find a small village perched in the midst of all this slush, festering in the sun.
The area of Madagascar Is also between seasons, the fruit is gone, the maize is only just starting to form and the rice is 2 months away from being ready, the villagers are living from day to day, many a house has fallen down as people have just given up finally the harsh conditions have got too much and they cant any more they have packed what they have onto their carts and left. For the rest it’s the daily fight with the mud, disease and insects. Thin dressed in basic rags, and dirty they toil in the sun as if they have actually given up but are just going through the motions. Kids lie around, rolling from shadow to shadow just trying to keep cool; there is no real area to play, as the rain has turned everything to mud. The odd group have found a biggish pool to swim in, and a little laughter lifts the soul for a split second.
Does life have to be so cruel? I just want to go up and give the little that I have on me to the children, my heart wrenches and twists in pain as I see this, I always ask am I doing enough, what else can I do?
Actually I am furious, there are people right here as I sit on this island that should be thinking those thoughts and do something for goodness sake.