Monday, 26 January 2015

Life along the river

I thought I (I being Kate) would add a little to yesterday's post about the sights of yesterday's journey. 

Many of the homes we saw were floating along the banks of the river. Life was all about the river. The kids were very adept at handling a boat even from a young age although I dread to think how many kids drown in these communities. There are certainly no safety gates around! I don't suppose there are any statistics available though. 

One particular image has stuck in my mind of a young boy who must only have been 4-5 years old. We were dropping off locals along the way at various points and as we passed one little house I noticed this boy run along the front of the house and jump into a little boat. He was shouting and as our boat slowed down, he paddled furiously from the front of the boat to catch us up. It took him a few minutes but he was soon alongside us as who I assume was his grandmother gathered her belongings  and handed them down from our boat to his. The excitement in his face to see his grandmother and more importantly the goodies she had brought was very cute to see. The grandmother took over the paddle to take them back home as the boy rummaged through her bags and pulled out t-shirts and other gifts, chatting away excitedly. I have photos but unfortunately they are on my big camera and I have no way of downloading them at the moment. 

We even saw a bunch of school kids in uniform lying about in a tiny boat doing their homework. But there were many more kids helping their parents out with fishing duties or washing clothes. Most of them would smile and shout hello as we put-putted past, but others looked like they'd seen it all before and couldn't be bothered. As Will says, it was a bit uncomfortable at times, feeling like a voyeur on their very different lives. But I  did find it fascinating and despite the discomfort of the boat trip I would recommend doing it, but perhaps in the wet season when it would be shorter and less gruelling. 

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