Robert Killed a Snake

Robert killed a snake at the gate this morning. I sat on his guard table watching people walk by, pointing at the dead reptile, some jumping of out shock, others poking it with sticks. I had just returned from visiting Aaron, who I had found out the night before has malaria and a boil/ulcer. I walked along the dusty road in the early morning, but the traffic and commotion was already in full force. Aaron emerged from his bedroom looking tired. We had tea. He commented on how little sugar I put in my tea. He reminded me of how little salt I had put on the food I had prepared for him a few weeks ago. He showed me his ulcer. I gave him Arthemethine to treat the malaria. His children walked in and out of the room. His youngest daughter cries when she is brought too close to me. Then two of Aaron’s friends dropped by for a short visit. When we were finished talking, Aaron walked me out onto the street. On the side of the road, he expressed his desire, once again, to study in a Bible school abroad. I didn’t know how to best respond. I mentioned options in Tanzania, and possibilities of traveling to Nairobi for further opportunities… more realistic opportunities. I don’t really know what my responsibility is or what it should be. It’s a sadness I don’t know how to deal with, a reality that is the product of multifarious factors seemingly beyond anyone’s control. I can’t make any promises, even the promise of trying because I don’t know what should be encouraged and what should not. I walked home in the heat, sweating. And then we looked at the dead snake.

There’s not much reason.

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