Binayo Walks MAG

May 22, 2010
By Ameerah Arjanee SILVER, Rose-Hill, Other
Ameerah Arjanee SILVER, Rose-Hill, Other
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Binayo walks
every day from four to ten,
carrying two yellow plastic jerry cans on her back like precious children
Muddy liquid gold seeps from the cracks,
evaporating in the Ethiopian dawn
like precious children dying

Binayo does not know how old she is, for she has never been to school;
but the red marks created on her bare coal-colored back
by the rough rope strap dangling a hundred pounds of life,
or the sores on her feet from walking miles
of hot, rocky sand dunes barefoot
can be counted approximately by the wise
But Binayo cannot count;
she is too busy walking to know how to

Binayo's life has always been traveled between the sand dunes,
between the trickling Arayo River
and the dry mud huts of the lost village of Konso,
Binayo must hurry between her sand dunes,
for she does not have all day;
her five children have to be washed of their grimy faces
the cattle has to be fed or else will turn into the desert's dust,
and her husband has to be given his beer
brewed with cassava from the water so rare

Binayo has walked since she was eight years old
and Binayo will walk 'til she is an old woman with a crooked back
Her mother has walked,
her grandmother has walked,
her daughter will walk
For in the village of Konso, a woman who does not walk
is no woman at all

Binayo knows that she will only ever reach
the diminishing Arayo River, the growing dirty children,
the dust-caked huts of Konso, and her beer-loving husband
(no matter how much she walks)
But still, Binayo walks, in search of her water
among the Ethiopian sand dunes


The author's comments:
I was reading this article in National Geographic magazine's April 2010 issue about women in Ethiopia who have to walk incredibly long distances everyday by foot to fetch only a pail of water to survive, while living in poor remote villages where gender inequality is still tradition. They were even more courageous to accept their difficult life without complaint, accepting that it's just the way things are. While we moan if we don't get hot tap water for an hour, these women's courage is so extraordinary that I had to write something about it

Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 1 comment.


on Nov. 22 2010 at 9:26 pm
SaMiLoVe97 SILVER, Okawville, Illinois
9 articles 3 photos 105 comments

Favorite Quote:
If it doesnt break your heart it isnt love, if it doesnt break your heart its not enough. Its when youre breaking down with your insides coming out.Thats when you learn what youre made of.-Switchfoot<3

I adore this!!! Amazing work dear. Keep writing(: <3 Sami


SciArc

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!