Life in the Sahara is peaceful and full of memories. I suppose it comes from all we do to survive this harsh climate together with our neighbors. Only a sliver of those memories can appear as photos in our photo album. Most of them can only be found, stored within our hearts…
Around sunset, one of our landlord’s family saw the friends of our girls sitting on the wall… so he drove over to them quickly, and they ran to hide from him, behind our house! He yelled something at them, and they stayed where they were. And as quickly as he had come, he was gone. This bothered the girls, both ours and our friends. I hadn’t had a chance to intervene, since I was indoors and it was over before I heard about it.
He came over this morning, with a guard to help us watch over our house each evening. This gave us the chance to talk about what had happened the previous evening; he had no problem with the kids coming over and playing, if we did not. And we didn’t; the girls were beginning to have fun playing together, and they are courteous and generally well-behaved, though at times they get carried away in their excitement.
The friends of our girls did not come at all during the day… They probably had been a bit shaken up by what had happened last night. But, as the sun set and they were returning from the “meshik” (Qur’anic school), they came! I quickly encouraged them to come in through the gate, and our girls, who had been nervous that they had been frightened away for good, were very glad to see them.
I have been able to take photos of life here… but the best photos, I am not allowed to take. If I could, you would see girls in their school uniforms, sitting on the wall with our girls, talking and smiling. You would see them running around the front yard, throwing the ball to one another and running excitedly, trying to get it away. And there would be a picture of my wife and her new neighbor friend in her burqua, excited to have a new friend next door with whom she can talk to and practice her English.