“..Men and women and water buffalo
Patiently trod the dirt road
In the footsteps of our eldest forefathers
In the never ending ebb and flow
From home to work, from work to home
From hot to cold, from young to old
From babe in the belly, to our place in the grave…”
This photo is my view to the north, looking out my verandah windows at the dirt road that passes to the east between our house and our neighbor. The little dirt road leading to the north follows the bank of the irrigation canal, and is lined with huge eucalyptus trees. It is very early in the morning, and the man is leading his waterbuffalo to his plot of farmland, where he will work in his field all day. They have just crossed over the bridge spanning the irrigation canal which is fed from the Nile River about a half kilometer to the west of us.
This waterbuffalo is very young, you can tell by her pink skin that she has never spent time outside of her barn. She will be walked daily back and forth by this patient farmer, her skin growing darker from the sunshine, as she learns to eat fresh greens from the field and provide milk for her family. Maybe this is her first journey away from the safety of her barn and mama. Something scared her, apparently, causing her to balk at continuing, and her owner is coaxing her gently, tugging the rope to encourage her. I love the curiosity of our neighbor’s dog, too. He has climbed up onto the back of the trailer he was sleeping in to get a better look!