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KAYA

“The city is full of thieves, watch your bag”
Muna says and we walk briskly on
It is almost 10:30pm and I am very hungry
I am already missing home but I know I cannot go back
We need the money, Sani is sick back home…they say a knife must be used on her heart

We pass by shops and I see many women and children in little groups
They seem to be chatting and I wonder why nobody is asleep yet
In my village, people are sure to be snoring now

Muna stops at a stall, she buys me a cup of tea and fries me an egg
Oh what a delicacy.
At home I only have fermented corn to prepare koko

We continue moving and I see other women lying fast asleep in front shops
Some had little children who were crawling about the streets
I wonder, do they have no homes?
What if it rains?

“Muna, those women…”
I begin to say
“Oh them? She laughs,
…they are tired and must rest
They all have a long day tomorrow
Saturdays are particularly busy for us

Muna stops abruptly in front of a closed shop where only two women and a child sit
The baby wore no clothes and was crying
“Come, will you”
We will spend the night here
Tomorrow we will get your pan so you begin work with us.

It rains the whole night and we are all soaked
We stand shivering under a shed and praying for the rains to stop
Even the little child…he isn’t crying anymore, not a squeal
It seems he has mastered the strength to give up sleep until the rains stops.

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