Journey to Burong, Part 3

Journey to Burong, Part 3

After turning the cart around, we attempt to seat ourselves on the metal bed of the cart. Burning hot! I am given a small towel to sit on and feel very thankful indeed for that cloth. The donkey starts with our donkey man, Dembo, adding a nice rhythmic, clicking sound and we loll along at “fastest donkey in the village” speed. It takes another hour under the now high sun.

The guys chatter in Mandinka while I take video of the tiny villages, people waving from their compounds and children shouting “toubab, toubab!” My legs are tired from keeping them away from the wheels. I drink water every chance I get. The water is now hot in the bottles. I don’t think about having to use the bathroom. I am feeling exhausted from the heat and the uneven rocking of the donkey cart. I then hear a low chanting sound. It is the sound of voices in unison getting louder and louder as we approach: “Vel-come! Vel-come! Vel-come!”

This is it! 1:40pm, and we have arrived in Burong. The school is just ahead. Children are clapping hands, chanting somehow in unison, running in all directions and grinning eagerly! Little hands are everywhere: searching, reaching, touching! No time to feel hot or thirsty or tired. Time to take in the moment, touch as many hands as possible, look into as many eyes as possible and answer this same question more than 100 times: Hel.lo. How. Are. You? Answer: I am fine. How are YOU?

Welcome to Burong

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