Gotchi felt numb. She thought achingly of Satchi. Without money, she lost all hope of seeing her beloved friend again. She thought of all their hard work, and she thought of her father, brothers and sisters. The rains had still not come. Without money, would they all die of hunger? Of thirst?
And so Gotchi walked, tears streaming down her cheeks, clenching Binta’s strong hand as if it were all she had left. Red and pink light slowly filled the sky, and eventually turned to gold. Gotchi did not notice the beauty of dawn, nor the freshness of the breeze. She and Binta just kept walking. For days they trudged on. They traveled from village to village, from house to house, begging for food, water, and a safe place to spend the night. Sometimes they washed clothes, hulled grain, or did other tasks to reimburse the kindness of their hosts. They had nothing else to offer in return.
Days became indistinguishable from one another. Gotchi had no sense of how long it had been since they had left their village. She could hardly remember the day she had begun this journey, when her heart had been filled with eagerness and hope.