"With her languid walk, cigarette in hand, Dangal comes to me." Nandi, yidaki "she says reproachfully light as if they wonder where I stay now. Always she speaks to me with nandi what mother means, never with my name . I hasten to another house and take the half-painted didgeridu. On the porch she is already trying to paint it. With solid moves she rubs a white stone on the concrete. 
If I want to sit next to her she points to the plastic spray a little further. I grab the glue and spray a little in the watery white puddle for her. So happy that I can do something, I take the stone and rub it until the glue is mixed with the rest. 
The cigarette she gives to one of the men's whom is passing by, before she dips her brush carefully in the paint. With one fluid motion she goes over the lines that she set up yesterday. I strained to see but she did not ruin the lines, they remain tight, the white becomes whiter. 
Wamutji is a little further with a few other women. If I happened to look in her direction she makes a quick move with her index finger across her nose. From my pocket I take a cigarette and bring it to her. She does not look up or around and lights it. 
The others hold their hand out, they also want. Nobody knows how old is Wamutji. I estimate the age of 70. I am her sister, as she feels. Because of this, is my relationship to the rest of the tribe determined. And so is Dangal my daughter, even though she is my age, and Dorothea, her granddaughter, my mother. 
I do not know what it is to be a mother and whether I should be. Everything I have proposed is not applicable there. I would like to massage Dangal's sore shoulder, to comfort her because she has difficulty with her children. But she is proud, she can not be entertain. If she needs something she says: "nandi fifty dollars". I give this, nothing more. Economical and dosed do I deal with what is in my possessions. 
Dusk sets in, it will not be long until  the mosquitoes will come. Dangal'll stop soon. Too bad, I wish so badly that it is finished. The brush goes into the pocket of her skirt. I store the didgeridu and feel superfluous. Dangal goes into the house and makes free space where she and her children will sleep. Beside Wamutji , her mother, just like me. "


Berenda Dekkers

Berenda Dekkers
Sociaal Psycholoog/Trainer

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The Netherlands

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