Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009 - 1 comment

Spring Has Sprung

A recent sunny Sunday sent me off for a walk in a nearby neighbourhood to see how spring was progressing over yonder. Seemed I wasn't the only one making the most of a chance to get out in the nice weather - in every garden, I found a tree adorned with bright lemons, on every roof, a string of wet laundry, and in every yard, children being children under the bright sun.

I am always sensitive with when to pull out my camera in poorer areas like this since I don't want to make anyone feel exploited and I do need to keep up good relationships around here. That day, though, as I was shooting a lemon tree, I got the most amusing reaction from a wrinkled (and quite possibly senile) old lady who passed on the road. When she saw my camera, she asked if I was a journalist and then held up the stick she was carrying and asked if I wanted her to hit me like a cow! Thankfully I have a gift for sweet-talking old ladies and as soon as I told her I didn't work for a paper and was simply admiring the beauty of spring in her neighbourhood, she switched into "auntie mode" and kept pinching my cheeks and telling me how cute I was. (Here's a photo I snuck as she and her granddaughter walked away.)

I walked past two absolutely beautiful little girls playing in the back of a truck, and when I asked if I could take their photo, they happily struck their well-rehearsed model poses for me. Mom came out shortly after and, of course, invited me in for tea. As I chatted with Mom and Grandma, the girls competed for my attention. The eldest informed me that she had been on TV the day before - apparently her preschool had been featured on the news. This one definitely had the look of a little star in the making. She asked if I knew how to dance, and I was relieved that she believed me when I said no. Happy to keep the spotlight, she turned on a music video channel and began to show me her moves. Besides the fact that I was jealous a five year old could move her hips better than I can, there was something disturbing about her little performance. It was evident that she had spent hours mirroring the artists she sees on TV because not only was her dancing amazing, but she had perfected the look of seduction. It is such a paradox that a country that covers its girls and boasts of their purity has so much twisted lust lurking just under the surface. With sexual abuse so common within families, I can only pray that this little one's innocent fun is able to remain innocent, and that the "skills" applauded by her parents now won't one day unknowingly lead her to heartache.


what a fun day, but how bittersweet about the little girl. that had to be the weirdest thing to watch her dance.

your pictures of the girls are lovely!