Amina and Johari are traveling with us again this year; haven’t snooped the precisions of age, but they’re both under ten. Johari lost a tooth today to natural causes… She was wiggling it into a bloody tissue while playing in the gardens adjacent to the mass graves at the Gisozi memorial (over 250,000 buried in seven giant concrete cisterns, and – bodies still being discovered). J + A were with their mother Laura and father Robert, who took shifts supervising, and then ducking into the museum.
The girls were playing restaurant – serving up pretend food, taking care of customers visible and invisible. When the tooth popped out, the scenario shifted, and possible magical applications for the tooth and the de-toothing process explored (how much would the tooth fairy love you if you lost four teeth at once?). A memorial is a way of having pretend meals that both require and offer real care/hospitality. A memorial; magical applications for that which is missing.
Butare tomorrow, ramping to Murambi, which by now I very much wish I were never going to visit again.