A QUEST FOR WATER: (Based on actual events in the southern Sahara)
CHAPTER 2: The Water Search Begins (5)
Mouheini, though she also felt the effects of too little sleep, took it upon herself to cheer up her little cousins. She told her stories until a halo of pink encircled the eastern horizon, announcing the rising sun. The splendor of first dawn brought extra joy to the girls, despite the bittersweet reality that the heat would also begin rising on the trail of the sun.
“Let’s take a break to rest and eat before it gets too hot,” Mouheini proposed. Takat and Raichatou both eagerly answered, “Yes!”
They removed a plastic mat from one of the donkeys, laid it on the ground, and sat down. Mouheini pulled out her dried meat, Takat her gourd of fermented goat milk, and Raichatou unpeeled a cloth wrap that hid the traditional Tuareg boule of millet. They untied a small metal bowl, into which they scooped a portion of the millet which had been cooked into a paste and formed into a ball, and stirred in milk and a little water. United under the splendor of sunrise, the girls enjoyed their meager feast and forgot about the challenges of the morning so far, as well as those that might lay ahead.
photo: One of my favorites… Hassi and Rabbi (Mouheini’s cousins) eating illiwa, or millet gruel with milk.