March 19

Dear Diary,
Here is more of my adventure…

After everyone ate and sat down for a little while (I stood up, I was plenty sore from sitting!), we all started walking again. I asked to walk behind Father instead of riding Kassa, since it was not too far to the truck. The trail climbed onto a grassy plateau, open to the sky and full of morning breezes; it smelled like wet earth and growing things after the rain and even Kassa took a deep breath and flapped her lips with happiness. The world seemed made of grey humps and lumps in the dim light, like elephants—but it was only wet trees and big rocks covered in mist.

I like to make up songs when I am walking or doing housework, just little songs with humming and not many words. So I sang softly while we walked, “Ai, yai, ai, yai, iyehedk no? Tolo, tolo, tolo, kes, kes kes…”

“What are you humming, hummingbird?” asked my father. “Quickly, quickly, slowly, slowly?”

I decided not to feel silly and nodded at him. “Yes. That is how this trip is: we need to get there quickly, and it goes slowly.” I hummed and sang some more, to show I wasn’t embarrassed. Father just smiled and patted my back.

“It’s a good song,” he said, “a traveling kind of song.” And he hummed a little with me.

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