Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Dolly for Margaret from Kelsey

As I waited in the car amidst the slums to the west of Kampala, little Margaret and her bright orange dress caught my eye. Beads woven into her small braids made an intricate design of that hair-cap that was destined only to catch the dust. This little girl, maybe three years old, managed to down an entire glass bottle of Coca-Cola in the short time I watched her from the car. I wonder how many of those glass bottles are leftover from our days with glass bottles in the States (not that I remember, I’ve only heard about it).

Margaret was entirely unfazed by her mother’s pleadings to be left alone while she rested on the floor of her small vegetable stand. How did she think, I wonder, that a Coca-Cola would help the situation? I chuckled to myself. Soon, little Margaret’s eyes peeked up over the edge of the door as she walked the length of the car over and over again dragging her fingers in the dust creating a mess of what’s left of the already unattractive paint job. Once she hit her head on the side mirror and looked at me as though I’d personally done this to her. Her braid-cap cushioned the blow.

I had just the dolly in mind. Kelsey picked out the dolly whose dress was vibrant and retro, which perfectly matched the bright orange of Margaret’s dress. A simple presentation of that dolly and the Bible story of Eve and maama certainly knew what she was looking at, but Margaret seemed a bit uninterested given the presence of the mzungu, whom she was intent on watching more closely. I always wonder what happens after I leave.