You have some money, not much, a roll of small bills folded in your palm and marked with the faces of men and birds you have never seen. They’re worth only a few dollars but that’s still something and you don’t like giving it away. You tuck a ball of tobacco behind your ear and stand watching while your sisters and cousins line up and lay gifts on a blanket before the men. They bring whatever they have, bracelets and earrings, knives, silver watches with blank irrelevant faces. One more ceremony in a stream that flows forever men-ward. Most days you don’t mind. You sit with your sisters in the shade making beer, feeding children, and teasing the men for wasting their time in gossip and sloth. Someone always tells the old joke of God’s first mistake and how He fixed it and everybody laughs. “Napuli!” Your aunt is calling. She sees your sharp elbow, your reluctant shoulders. “What are you waiting for? Give the boys some money.” The women singing now. Why does song come easy for them? How can they give so freely? “Napuli!” Yes, yes. You will. You just want to hold the bills a moment more. They are bright white, bank-crisp. Dry as leaves and whispering between your fingers. The problem is, you have been listening. Money tells a good story at night after the fires go out. The newlyweds, your neighbors, laugh and grunt in the darkness and you can hear them too through the stick walls but the money is louder. “Anything,” it has told you. “Anything.” And in the morning this story becomes the daydream. What you might do if you could keep it.

#omoriver #kara #women #watershedstories #truestories #natgeo with @randyolson @thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeocreative | You can find this flashback series archived here: #omoriver2009
1,110 likes
  • neilshea13You have some money, not much, a roll of small bills folded in your palm and marked with the faces of men and birds you have never seen. They’re worth only a few dollars but that’s still something and you don’t like giving it away. You tuck a ball of tobacco behind your ear and stand watching while your sisters and cousins line up and lay gifts on a blanket before the men. They bring whatever they have, bracelets and earrings, knives, silver watches with blank irrelevant faces. One more ceremony in a stream that flows forever men-ward. Most days you don’t mind. You sit with your sisters in the shade making beer, feeding children, and teasing the men for wasting their time in gossip and sloth. Someone always tells the old joke of God’s first mistake and how He fixed it and everybody laughs. “Napuli!” Your aunt is calling. She sees your sharp elbow, your reluctant shoulders. “What are you waiting for? Give the boys some money.” The women singing now. Why does song come easy for them? How can they give so freely? “Napuli!” Yes, yes. You will. You just want to hold the bills a moment more. They are bright white, bank-crisp. Dry as leaves and whispering between your fingers. The problem is, you have been listening. Money tells a good story at night after the fires go out. The newlyweds, your neighbors, laugh and grunt in the darkness and you can hear them too through the stick walls but the money is louder. “Anything,” it has told you. “Anything.” And in the morning this story becomes the daydream. What you might do if you could keep it.

    #omoriver #kara #women #watershedstories #truestories #natgeo with @randyolson @thephotosociety @natgeo @natgeocreative | You can find this flashback series archived here: #omoriver2009

  • rickijoyI lives in Kenya in 2010.
  • chaitanyajiNice @neilshea13 visit us pls
  • evajivanwellsSuch an intimate story Thank you
  • neilshea13@f3rndawg #moleskine
  • f3rndawg@neilshea13 awesome, thanks very much! Admiring all your hard work and wishing you safe travels
  • motoloraxAppreciated. Take good care of Padgett, wishing you both a productive trip.
  • utahmcbrayer@landonmcbrayer, this is the guy I want you to check out.
  • neilshea13thanks, @motolorax Inspired by what you guys did together.
  • twovikingboys@mvchoate so beautiful
  • starfox___I always love to read these @gabyaesthetic
  • iamgoddessjahla@daltono_
  • missvanlierWow amazing 🙌🙌 thank you for this
  • korihsych@storm.kathleen - bask here for a moment my friend, be inspired
  • jenovadepLove this!!! Kenya is one on my list!!!!!! Such perfectly beautiful people.. Such good artisans.. So much culture.. Wild animals abound there.. And lastly, the colored beads and dancing... Man!!!! What I wouldn't give to go photograph and serve alongside these my sisters who I know not yet. @neilshea13
  • jenovadepYou've seen my Nepali pics haven't you? That was an amazing adventure.. Love my new friends in Nepal. <3
  • manar3shoorI swear you're writing could inspire a whole generation. 👏
  • tripple__dIf this is Kenya am already missing home. But the things happening there right now only God knows
  • kavitasarmahWow. The caption. I'm overwhelmed.
  • katiemblumStunningly beautiful writing.
  • humberto_alexandre@sirleneeraphael
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