Day 377: Does This One Know What is to Happen?

by claire a. williams,

Our American outlet of late has been LOST, which is new to Lara. I, Claire, have long been obsessed with this show, as is evidenced by the fact that one of our worst fights ever came when Lara, in a sick ignorant sort of way while in Morocco, asked what on earth the castaways could find three seasons worth of things to do on that darned island. After "abusing" her on this point (as the Tumaini children say) for over a year, she has "submissed" (as we say about the Tumaini children when they nod their heads to any nonsensicality we utter).

In a recent episode of LOST we watched, one character made a joke about island living when he commented sarcastically that he had resorted to getting his nightly news from the island's resident 6 year old.

Here at Tumaini, we are in the same boat. Although there aren't any 6 year olds here (the youngest boarder is 7, although 5 and 6 year olds regularly come to eat and look at where they might get to be some day), it is those very seven years old here with whom we feel the least embarrassed to ask basic questions about what on earth is going on.

Why does everyone have one strand of grass in their hair?

Is that woman your teacher or a beggar?

Why are you eating dirt?

Would the Matron be mad if Lara shaved her head?

Why are they giving the Reverend a cow?

How do we turn our stove on?

Why are they eating bugs?

Why do you spell your name two different ways?

What is "tution"?

Most of the time, though, the asking is merely a crutch, and a useless activity that makes me feel there is more rhyme and reason to life and scheduling here than there really is. This is particularly true when the water goes off or the power goes out, two events which annoy us to no end, as they prevent computer work (and LOST viewing) from happening as well put a stop on general showers and toilets and post-running hydrating.

Naturally, these events happen with the random predictability of the cracker that appears sometimes, and sometimes not, just to drive the general lab rat insane (or to make the particular LOST character mentioned above insane as in a certain season 3 episode). So we ask questions to put rhyme to the reasons:

Does the water usually come on at night?

Will it come on today?

Why is there no water?

The variations on this question are endless, and endlessly interesting to come up with. Inevitably, whichever small child with limited English skills we are asking will answer obediently. And, in a true exercise in positivity, small children in Kenya (and most everywhere, really) who don't understand you always, without fail, answer yes.

But at least it makes me feel that someone knows what is going on.

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