The Village Awakes

The old adage, “The early bird catches the worm” has never been so true.  Rising before sun up for a run on a crisp spring morning,  through the sleepy village of Morgan Bay and stopping for a breather and perch up high atop the water reservoir overlooking the adjacent housing location and watch the world wake up, has to be one of the best ways to start a day.

The sun is just starting to peep out in all its glory above the far off clouds, which casts a soft golden glow on the shacks down below.  Each little home held together by brightly painted boards and gleaming corrugated iron. DIY electrical connections linking each little abode to a central pole, brings a sense of connection and togetherness to all who live here.

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The only sounds wafting up the sides of the cold concrete reservoir is that of the barking dogs, scratching for scraps next to the growing pile of refuse, which has been dumped in a hollow in the ground and left to ferment.  The twittering birds have already started their day and the cry of a far off fish eagle brings a feeling of isolation and detachment from the rest of the world.

A young man saunters down the rutted sand road whistling a gentle tune, he is in no rush to get anywhere and appears content and at total peace with the world. A banging door draws attention to the grey haired grand mother starting her day of catering for the family still snug inside their humble abode.  She bends down slowly, hand on her back and gathers some fire wood.  She has been doing this by rote for so long it takes just minutes for her to get a roaring fire going, with the slight breeze sending that wood fire smell towards the reservoir. She then picks her way to the solitary tap, which supplies the only running water to the community,  where she fills a large yellow plastic container and hefts it onto her head to carry back to the makings of the family breakfast. An elderly gentleman appears in the doorway in a grimy white vest riding high above his portend stomach, he pats her on the back and ambles off to the one permanent structure off to the side of the community, to do his ablutions.

The peacefulness of the setting is broken with the arrival of an overloaded bakkie, backfiring down the road, filled with youth who have been lucky enough to be given a lift to the local town to start their work day.

This is the sign that the hustle and bustle of the day has begun, the sun is now more than just a glow in the sky, with the romantic light that was cast over these shacks dissipating and a harsher light now highlighting the plight of those living here.

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