Chapter Nineteen

Building the new boat didn’t take long. Joma and the villagers worked tirelessly in their spare time.

The locals knowledge of the region proved invaluable as Babo had predicted. Joma doubted his craft would have been seaworthy, had he built it alone.

For once, Joma trusted Babo completely when told it was time to set sail.

“Joma, my friend, it has been a pleasure,” the big man beamed.

“You are a great man. The way you have adapted to your plight is remarkable. You possess many good qualities and I hope you have begun to recognise this,” he said seriously.

“Thank you for everything Babo. Please thank the rest of the village too; I don’t know what I would have done without you all. I have learned a lot, I just hope the lessons stick,” Joma replied candidly.

“You’re a clever boy, I’m sure what you have gathered will stay with you. The village thanks you in return. Just as you’ve learned from us, we’ve learned from you. Passing on your own unique knowledge will help us move forward as a community. Here is a token of our appreciation and something to remember us by,” Babo said as he handed Joma a finely crafted knife.

It was beautiful.

“Thank you,” Joma managed, hugging his friend. Joma realised it was the first time he had initiated a hug and it felt good.

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