One morning we hung out at the Queen of Sheba Swimming Pool. Not that the very queen ever did her laps here. The huge basin full of rain water has always served the locals for washing clothes and bodies, as an elderly woman perfectly described through gestures.
At the end of the dry season the water was way down, making it even harder for the girls to carry it up the steep stairs. Once at the top, they tie the yellow canisters onto their backs with thin ropes or shawls and carry them home. What looks so effortless, makes you wince when you try yourself. Neither of us was able carry such a canister even a few meters.
When a blind lady approached, Heidi tried to guide her over the iron bar that blocks access to the stairs. Heidi’s touch and words spoken in English scared the wits out of this poor lady. She actually never intended to cross the barrier and of course could not climb down the steep stairs!
Within seconds, we witnessed how this challenge was tackled: a young girl filled the canister and tied it the blind lady’s back, who left giggling, having been told of Heidi’s kind attempt. Feeling pretty ignorant and embarrassed, we decided to follow the cattle.