Copyright 2012 Forrest Aguirre
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The Bones of Ndundi:
Time is measured here by physical need. Asking “when is mealtime?” gets you an incredulous stare and: “Whenever you are hungry”; “When is bed time?” – an exasperated sigh and “When you are tired”. This does not, of course, betray any kind of “savage innocence,” as the colonial officials of the past would have called it – time is largely irrelevant in the camps. All things are provided: shelter, food, water, medical aid – though not at the same comfort level to which Westerners are accustomed. With these needs met, what need does one have for “last week” or “next month” or “at three o’clock”? Time as measured by watches and calendars is an indistinct smear in this part of Africa.