As we left the airport, the teddies stared with astonishment out the bus window at the bare earth and the mud huts, at first not saying anything. Hephie was quiet too. But, unlike the teddy bears who looked a little stunned and who sat very still, Hephie ran from one bus window to the next trying to see everything he could as the bus bumped along down the potholed road.
Dwight was the first to break the silence when she whispered to grot boy and me, “The ladies are wearing beautiful, bright coloured clothes but somehow they still look very poor.”
Then Bobby added, “The animals look very skinny and hungry. Do you think they have enough to eat here?”
Hephie wasn’t quite sure what he thought. “This is where I come from because I’m an African elephant,” he proudly told people he met. Then he would quietly add, “But I live in Australia now, in a nice home. We have plenty of yummy food and sleep in a big, warm bed, and we go to concerts and on holidays all the time.”
The next day, after visiting the churches of Lalibela Ccino expressed what I suspect we were all thinking. “This is an upside down world. Here they build the churches into the ground, but at home they build them into the sky. Here, there is hunger and poverty, while at home we all eat lots.”
“But people back home don’t look any happier.”
Sometimes the youngest are really the wisest of us all!
Grot boy wanted to see Lucy at the museum. No, not my namesake but the 3 million year old hominid who was found near where we were staying. Ccino thought it was hilarious, “Look she’s just like grot girl they’re the same size and grot girl is nearly as old,” he told the other museum visitors.
Hephie was more intrigued by the bones and pictures of the ancient mammoths as we told him they were his distant relatives, just as Lucy was ours.
“Why was Africa so different from our home in Australia?”
When Dwight observed, “Did you notice, no-one had any teddy bears? We didn’t see any other teddies the whole time we were there.” we all agreed, surprised we hadn’t realised this earlier.
“Maybe if there were more teddies, it would be a more prosperous place,” she concluded.
© teddybearlife.com, 2014