This is the second part of Janissa’s story. To read the first part, click here!
Two months later, as she was having her second menstruation, the young lady and her grandmother were asked to visit some families in Brazil. Grandmother was happy to go but worried at the same time, since her granddaughter had to go to school and would need to meet her on the way there. So she planned ahead for her trip.
It was Friday morning when Grandmother was getting ready to travel. She advised her granddaughter, as she would usually do before leaving her. This time, however, Grandmother forgot to remind her about the dangers of the trip. The young lady headed happily to school whilst her worried grandmother left ahead with her eldest daughter on a bullock cart to Brazil, on a journey that would last eight hours.
The young lady reached school and waited anxiously for the class to be over. Back then, school used to finish at 1:30pm. She was steadily checking the time. Tingah-lingah-ling…the bell rang out. She ran out of the school and waited for her cousin to travel with her.
Now it was time to move on one old but smooth running bicycle and meet the bullock cart. They were wondering how far their aunt and grandmother had gone. However, the bicycle had them coming off and walking up a hill in a scorching sun heat. There came a pond called chicken pond – kiriwana kubi. The young lady was so thirsty and longing to bathe that she eventually had a bath while crossing the pond. Her cousin who was already on the land hurried her up. So she got out the water. They continued their ride and took turns in toying each other. It was a long way and their energy was already sapping away by unseen tiredness. After riding a long distance, they finally saw the bullock cart ahead. They all met up and stopped to have dinner, roast tasso and soaked farine – paga pung pusa yakiri sheba.
After eating they all continued their journey together. When the sun was about to hide its face, unfriendly mosquitoes – pisami – started to bite and the heat was blown away by fresh air. Now they were about three miles away from the border with Brazil: the Ireng river. The young lady rode behind the cart while her cousin was on the cart. Everyone was feeling tired so they beat the bulls to walk faster.
Suddenly, the breeze became stronger and stronger along with huge dark clouds. Big rain drops that stung hard, and terrible lightening flashes with distance thunders. They were being surrounded. The bulls started to snort and breathe harder and the white sand was washing away from the road. Instantly the young lady shivered and hustled to jump onto the cart. Poor her had to hold an heavy old bycicle on her lap. Troubled and worried, Grandmother questioned her: “Did you bathe at the pond?”
The young lady answered beat against her teeth and, eventually, she said “yes.”
Her grandmother once more stuffed her ears with stabbing words. Grandmother immediately worked her magic sticks and tried to ease the hunting chicken. They reached the Ireng river crossing and only to hear people’s complaints. Grandmother didn’t say who was the cause of that mishap. The young lady felt guilty enough. But Grandmother was still not reassured because her granddaughter had to cross over the Ireng River. Fortunately, they spent the night at the crossing and nothing happened anymore.
The next day, they all went across to Brazil. There, they were advised to seek help from a neighbour who was a Bush Doctor – pi ai man. The doctor instantly saw the help and troubles of the young lady. He told them she had nearly been caught by a huge snake – kari yami and even her cousins who were with her. They ran away before the snake softened the ground. He also saw and told them that on the way she had a bath at the chicken dad’s pond and just the power of that beast had met them as a strong wind. If they went closer to the pond the chicken could have had them as a healthy dinner. So the young lady was said to be a freshy for all unseen zombies. The bush Doctor prayed over her. The prayer was about safety.
After the crises and help of her Grandmother and the Bush Doctor the young lady was touched and vowed not to be too disobedient. And everyone felt reassured.
Photo: Pi ai man from Brazil (Credit: Project COBRA)