Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mites' Stories

Mommy's been washing her hands a lot lately.

It's payroll time again, which means (if the bank has money - remember, this is Africa) we get to count money.

Of course, the bank doesn't have the right currencies we need to make everyone's pay envelopes, so someone has to take what money we get and get it changed at the market by various vendors. Of course, it's still not the perfect change, so some people get paid 48MT in 50 centavo (2 cent) pieces - a hefty wad of change (Repeat Mommy's mantra: This is Africa.)

And the big bag of coins that comes from the market leaves your hands black after touching it. It also has that unwashed cookfire smell you'd recognize if you ever rode a chapa. Hence the handwashing.

So we've been counting the coins and talking about all the places these coins have been and the things they've seen. We read the story about the widow's mite. Maybe some of these mites bought food to keep a family from starving. Maybe they bought a chapa ride to see a sick or dying parent. Maybe they bought a hard candy from one of the street vendors. Maybe someone invested them into buying some chicks to lay eggs and make money. Or maybe they paid for an elephant ride and a big brass band and a police escort and a Chinese boy who eats with sticks and a big Magician doing tricks on Mulberry Street. Oh, the places they've been!