I was walking down the familiar paths that I had travelled so many times before on my way to see Maxwell and his family. I tried to recall the times and feelings I had just a year and half earlier, but nothing seemed to be the same except the red dust that stuck to my shoes. There were no shouts from the villages, no kids running out to greet me. Had they all forgotten me so soon? I still remember when the children would swarm around me as I walked with each one holding onto my fingers like a mother spider with her young hanging all over her. Those days are gone I guess. I will just have to be content with just seeing my friend. He will hopefully remember me. As I trudged along I noticed a large group of children coming down a trail that would intersect my trail. A smile broke across my face as I watched them laughing and having a good time coming home from school. They didn’t seem to even notice me walking toward them. I raised my hand and waved at them, waiting for them to cry out in sheer joy as they rushed toward me. The cry came, but instead of running toward me, they ran away from me. My heart fell like the dust which swirled around my feet. As they scattered away from the trail and into the bushes around, one brave boy stopped and took a long look at this mazungu walking toward them. For a brief moment nothing but silence until a loud “DONNIE” broke out. “Donnie, Donnie” the yell persisted. It seemed that from behind every bush, a child came running out yelling that familiar sound I had heard last year as I walked the trails. They all came running to me, all talking, saying things I could not understand. But the familiar grabbing of the fingers and the shouts of “Donnie” took me back to the pleasant times I had with these children.
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