down by the riverside

October 20, 2008

Being assigned “river duty” this afternoon meant that I got to supervise riverside playtime for all the students who had not traveled to a neighboring village for a combined prayer meeting. It meant answering “Yes, you may” to a chorus of questions required before they undertook various activities:
“Miss Anna, may I play in the river?” [allowed so long as they keep their clothes dry—a rule which lends itself to a long-standing tradition of tucking skirts and dresses into little undies] . . .
“Miss Anna, may I hunt for fruit?” [Juniors (grades 1 through 4) must be accompanied by at least one Senior (5 through 8), as they search for Leopard Fruit or knock mangoes down from the trees]
“Miss Anna, may I go to the toilet?” [an outhouse up the hill to which Juniors must have accompaniment but Seniors can venture to alone]
River duty also afforded me the surreal opportunity to join the students in some of the same activities I enjoyed at their age:
~catching tadpoles to corral in makeshift tide pools [I stubbornly persisted until I succeeded in capturing one today ☺ ]
~playing hopscotch [which I am hopelessly horrid at now, and lost by a longshot!]
~swinging over the river [which I can still do with a reasonable amount of skill ☺ ]

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