There is no such thing as privacy while camping in Sierra Leone. If I needed to change clothes, I had four little ones staring at me from outside my tent. If I wanted to bathe, I had half dozen people keeping me company even when I signaled it was time for me to dig the sand out of my bottoms which I prefer to remove when taking a bucket shower. If I needed to pee on a road trip, anyone passing on the roadside would not even think about looking away but rather I was expected to wave and make polite small talk while going about my business. If I wanted to read a book alone? Forget that. At one point, I counted an audience of thirty people on Nyangai Island watching me read.
There’s a kid like this in every schoolyard, village and city in the world. The alpha boy. When you hear kids screaming, he’s involved. He doesn’t understand the word “no.” He punches other kids and makes them cry. He pees wherever he pleases and is proud of it. He plays so hard that he collapses to the ground asleep before he hits it. He’ll sleep on you if you let him and when he does, as annoying as he can be, you look at him and know for some reason, you love this kid. Such a strong spirit, a scrapper and survivor. Momo, can’t wait to see you grow up little buddy.