We’ve noticed that local kids, out of school, are usually hanging around the beaches and fishing boats on the weekends. Saturday and Sunday are usually the best chances to see and play with other kids. On this day, the high tides had just gone out and left big tide pools along the shore.
Our kids were eager to join in the fun, and wanted to learn how to play like the other kids do. A few older boys were hanging out near the boats, while their Dads were making new fishing nets near by. The logs that they were trying to balance on are used to roll the boats to and from the water’s edge and across the sand to their “docks”. The men do this by placing two logs under the boats and then pushing the boats as they roll with the logs. As the boat passes over the back log, it is pushed around to the front again. This creates a bit of a man powered conveyor belt that prevents the boats from having to be dragged through wet sand.
A few younger kids were swimming, splashing and playing in the shallow water with a boogie board. These kids attend an American school and were quite fluent in English. They were happy to play with our kids, and taught them how to dig dead fish up from the sand at the bottom of the pools.
I will admit that it was tough to let them play in this “dirty” water. But, we certainly couldn’t divide them from the other kids. All we could do was stand back and enjoy the fun they were having, while giving their natural immunity a chance to kick in. And really it wasn’t as bad as it initially seemed. The fish weren’t days old rotting carcasses, they were fish that died in the fishing nets just an hour or so earlier. Plus, it was a great chance for the kids to get a close look and investigate the fish that they otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to see.
What a wonderful morning for community assimilation and a little lesson on marine biology!