Chapter Eighteen

Joma was having difficulty keeping his eyes open during the morning’s gather.

Babo, noticing this, asked, “Joma, are you sleeping poorly?”

The boy declared this was not the case but Babo insisted with his line of inquiry, attempting to get to the root cause. “The other villagers notice you don’t rest after lunch but go out into the jungle,” the big man stated.

It was true. Joma had been collecting materials to construct a boat. Although life was good, he couldn’t stay here forever.

The search for materials was taking longer than expected. The jungle was foreign to him, making it difficult to find suitable items for boat building.

Upon explaining this to Babo, the man with a big belly sighed and patted Joma on the back. “Joma, my boy, have you always been this stubborn?” he asked with a wry smile.

“Why did you not ask for help? We know our land. The job would be nearly complete by now,” he chided.

Joma, looking at his feet, replied, “I didn’t want to burden anyone. You have all done so much for me as is”.

Babo said firmly, “Joma, you are part of our community. We work best when we work together. There is no need to go at life alone and isolate yourself”.

Joma always found it difficult to ask for help. Babo made him realise the error of his ways. Or maybe it was the multiple blows to the head he had received.

Babo resolved to hold a council to plan for Joma’s return home. “Now, you get some sleep,” said the big man slapping Joma playfully on the back, “Or we’ll all end up eating the weeds you’ve been picking,” he joked.

Joma blushed and thanked the man. He made his way back to the village for some much-needed rest.


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