I Am the Triangular Window in a Mud Hut
March 20, 2020
Oct 27, 2021
Photo credits/Volunteer Images
I have overheard pale-skinned visitors to this refugee camp speak of windows as large as a cow and covered by glass that slides wide open. Those stories sound absurd. Such windows would be completely impractical!
We Dinka windows allow in some air, of course; but first and foremost, we are designed for safety and comfort. Look at my size and shape: a triangle smaller than a cracked plate. No thief or rapist or looter could pass through me!
If I were large, what sense would that make? A cow-sized window could not block the constantly blowing sand. Grit would cover the cooking pot and the sleeping mat and the faces of the children. Grit would tangle their hair and stick in their teeth and cloud their eyes. A cow-sized window would be no barrier to the heavy heat of day. It could not defend the cool interior of these clay walls that now offer some relief to the family that lives within. Besides that, a cow-sized window would be an open invitation for mosquitoes to feast at dawn and dusk and rabid bats to roost here by night. Nor would such a foolish window offer any protection from the prying eyes of neighbors.
No, I am a beautiful Dinka window, hand-fashioned by the mother who built this home. She herself mixed the soil and water to make the mud bricks. She herself dried them in the sun. She herself stacked them into this round tukul. Saving the best for last, she carved out my modest triangular face. She made me perfect for welcoming slivers of bright sunshine while keeping out the dangers that lurk. Have you not seen? Every six months or so, she slathers the curved walls with fresh wet mud to discourage the hungry advance of termites and prevent the bricks from crumbling under the equatorial sun.
Yes, I am a proud and beautiful Dinka window. You could learn from me.
Syndicated from the Mercy Beyond Borders blog. The above post is part of a monthly series titled Objective Lens. Each month readers are given the chance to look at the world from the point of view of an inanimate object in Haiti or Africa. Mercy Beyond Borders forges ways for women and girls in extreme poverty to learn, connect, and lead.Sr. Marilyn Lacey is the Founder and Executive Director of Mercy Beyond Borders.
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