Monday, October 20, 2008

A smoky mess

Haoua: "See? It's easy!'

It was a few days before anyone noticed that I was cooking "like them." I confess to feeling very inferior and pathetic in my fire-building skills despite my years as an explorer scout, backpacker, and--gasp--firefighter--but yesterday Narba discovered me huffing and puffing over a smoky mess. (It spoke very much of her fine manners that she didn't fall over in laughter.) Instead of showing a speck of condescension, she got down on her knees and within 5 seconds--I swear--she had a blaze going. How the??
So, humbled and exposed, I once again am under Narba's tutorial care. This morning, to my delight, I boiled a big pot o' water by burning another section of my fallen shade hangar. Satisfaction! It's strange how I always considered myself fairly capable in matters like this, but that here, my state of knowledge about living in the bush was exhausted by day two. A word to the wise: surrender your silly pride and ask for help when you need it. Your water will boil faster.

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