Heather in Senegal

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Kids here do not have many formal toys beyond balls and marbles, so they make do with what they find. A round piece of metal from the center of an old bicycle tire can be amusing for hours. I often see kids playing with a long stick. They push it in the ground or dangle things from it.

Today I saw some boys playing a new game. Sitting in our sand road, they made a foot-high mound of the sand. They buried a handful of low coins in the sand, and then they took turns slamming a rock down onto the mound. Any coins visible after one kid's turn belonged to him. Another game involves digging golf-sized holes in the ground and taking turns trying to toss a stone or a marble into the hole. It's surprisingly difficult.

Instead of the game of jacks I grew up with, girls will assemble a pile of small rocks and one bigger one. Toss the big one in the air and grab one pebble before catching the rock. Then repeat, trying to get two.


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