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Monday, August 15, 2016

Boys with Toys

I have been promising this mini-adventure for over two months. The combination of too windy days, cold, and a busy schedule have meant that every time my youngest brother knocks and asks if today is the day, I answer with a maybe or a no.

This morning I wanted to continue the trend. After three weeks with no down time, I really just want to hide in my house. I do not want to go out and play when I finish working today.

But, my host brother’s earnest face as he tells me it is not too windy and my own guilt spur me into action. I assure him that we will go fly the kite after I get home.

When I was traveling in the Caribbean, I was always impressed by the ingenuity of children. Many boys used plastic bags and sticks to create colorful kites. Although the children here are equally creative, kites have not been included among the many wonderful toys I have seen created over the last two years. As a result, my brother is enthralled with this small colorful kite my friend Jen sent me.

He has no idea what we will do with it; just that it is shiny, flutters on its hook when we open my door, and that I keep saying it cannot be too windy when we play with it.

He eagerly skips ahead of me as we head out to an open space not far from our home. The next oldest brother is planning to join us, but I know that Abuti Polau is excited to be the first to play with the kite.

Although the wind is intermittent, we are able to get the little frog (less than four square inches) flying after only a few attempts. The kite’s long blue tails dance in the wind as my brother learns to feed it string and take the string in when the wind speed dips. As Abuti Polau becomes an expert, our sixteen-year-old brother joins us. Not surprisingly, he also figures out how to work the kite in no time at all.

Purchased toys are rarely seen in my village. Most children are able to get creative. I have seen wires turned into cars, a homemade guitar, and pieces of cardboard turned into sleds on the grass. I am always impressed by how little the kids around me need fancy plastic toys shipped from China. Their creativity in turning things into games and toys always impresses me, especially when compared with all the toys we grow up with in America. 

That does not, however, diminish the fun in sharing a new toy with my brothers! 


Jen Webber said...

Thanks, Beth! He looks so happy, and what a beautiful day. xoxo, Jen

Susan Pederson said...

Kite flying is always fun! Glad that he had a chance to learn.

Beth said...

Stay tuned for more on Boys and Toys-I am collecting a slew of photos of the creative toys my brothers and their friends engineer. Their ingenuity inspires!