thing to me and to them I will always be their
little boy or big brother or whatever
designation they gave me, and I was happy with that, overjoyed.
We kept the second group busy whilst we waited, the house mother thought it a good
idea to have them recite their numbers they had been learning. We all
counted up to
one hundred in English and Sotho several times and during this I kept an eye on the
energies and moods. Amazingly the counting calmed them down considerably.
Wondering why, the answer came. Accessing the logical side of the brain starved the
emotional response of attention, thus lessening the energy spent on becoming
emotional. It was a distraction and it worked very well. We were midway through our
latest counting session when I felt it, a slight tremor in the ground. I looked at the house
mother and the teacher, they felt it too. I then got the sharp pain of emergency shoot
up my spine.
I jumped up and in a flash instructed the house mother to march the children outside
into the street immediately. She was startled but did so, the male teacher and I brought
up the rear. There was a large crashing noise behind us and I could feel the ground
behind move, I didn't want to look behind me out of fear. Each of the children wore
little blue raincoats. Out in the street the house mother instinctively pushed, shoved
and ran the children to the right. The teacher and I for some reason split off to the left.
Just as I turned into the muddy street I felt the ground beneath me give way without
warning and without noise.
The teacher grabbed my arm and hauled me along behind him as the gaping hole in the
ground followed us. He threw himself and me forward onto the muddy ground where
we rolled and scrambled on our bums backwards. I looked down and about half a metre
in front of me the hole stopped. We sat still, very still, almost too afraid to breathe. I
looked over to the other side and saw that thankfully all the children were safe. The
same could not be said for the house mother though, she was precariously balanced on