Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
TITLE: Hope We Can Eat
By john garner
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"No! Many have gone away, and none have returned. Do you see any of them? Help me with the clothes, then we must bring water from the river and prepare our meal." Francisca was very mature for eight years old, but inside she truly wanted to believe like her brother.
"I know that no one ever returns, Sissy, but I still want to see Mama. And he promised a goat for milk, too!" Raoul persisted.
"A goat would be wonderful for the whole village, but he did not bring the goat, did he?" As the head of her family, Francisca could see what was practical, and her survival and her brother's have depended on it since their Papa and Mama fell to the devastating plague of Aids. There were some elderly villagers remaining in Katito but more than half of the adults had perished and another third were dying, not only in this village but throughout all of Kenya. Missionaries came with great promises but most of the time, though they truly wanted to help, they had to leave and the village has remained much as it was.
As Francisca worked on with her never-ending chores, Raoul came running with their cousin, Antwan, hoping he could persuade his stubborn sister.
"Hello, Antwan, have you no work to be doing?" She expected more false dreams from Antwan, her ten year old cousin.
"Francisca, you...must...believe!" Antwan insisted, trying to catch his breath from running.
"Why must I? We cannot eat hope or drink good water by promises! Leave me alone!" Francisca ran into her small grass dwelling and began to cry. As she fell on her knees, she raised her head but the words would not come. She felt a nudge in the back and was ready to punish her little brother, when she turned and was face to face with a wild animal. She screamed. "What is it!"
"It is a goat, Francisca!" Raoul screamed. "Do you hear? They are drilling a well, too! And chickens! They come from Warul Vishun and He say we are dopted by his church in Tek-Sus. It is hope we can eat and promises we can drink!"
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