February 24

Dear Diary,
A storm came yesterday and it has rained hard since then. Our village is very muddy, and people are running around fixing leaks in their roofs. We have every pot out to catch water for our barrels. Even though there is the river, rainwater is better.

Some children are outside, running around shouting and playing in it. I used to do that, but now I don’t want to get so dirty. Instead, I helped Mother cook the meal and clean house. I also did my homework for school.

Mother is concerned because our supply truck did not come this week.

After what happened to the other villagers, I think she is now beginning to be afraid that they were right about the bandits.


Diary, a man came to the village. He was talking to Father and Mother. I could not overhear what they said, but their faces were frowning. Then Father and my brothers put on hats and gathered tools.

“Where are you going?” I asked Berhanu.

“The supply truck is stuck in deep mud, some miles north. I guess it has been raining for days up there. We’re going to take Kassa and the oxen with us to carry the supplies back.”

“You’re walking?”

“We can get there fastest on the trails. Another wagon or truck would only get stuck.”

“I want to go!”

“Stay here, Rahel. This is man’s business.”

“You are not a man yet, neither is Dawit! Besides, I can make Kassa do what I want. She doesn’t like boys!”

Berhanu shook his head, but Father stopped and looked at me.  “You can ride Kassa there, but you will have to walk back,” he warned. “We will not be home until morning. You will be very tired—and very wet.”

I just nodded. Now I must get my things. I am going!

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