Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Maybe toys are overrated?

We were walking home one evening when Terrill mentioned how fun it would be to give the Ik children a jungle gym. Yes, I thought, it would be fun...but how sustainable? How would it stand up against the weather? Who would fix the problems and taking responsibility for upkeep? And besides, these kids wouldn't stop climbing trees if we provided them with metal bars to climb on. They wouldn't stop playing in piles of sand if we gave them a proper sandbox (aren't those things breeding grounds for disease anyway?). These kids are happy as bugs in a rug and they've never had store-bought toys. The world is their playground and it keeps them very occupied.
But the real reason for this post is a baby baboon...another 'plaything' for the Ik children. This baby was caught in a valley of Timu forest. An Ik man saw a group of baboons lounging around. He waited for the right moment and hid in the grass. When the baby came close, he pounced on it and promptly tied a rope around it's waist. Then he tied a stick to the rope so the baby wouldn't get far. He brought the baby to a near-by village before heading down to Kaabong to try and sell her to anyone willing to buy. We do not condone this practice and in fact, think it is very harmful to the animals. This baby will probably never see her family again and she may not live long. Children around here tend to play kind of roughly. They are not used to being gentle with animals. To give some credit to the parents, I heard quite a few admonishing the children not to throw rocks or hurt this baby. Unfortunately, the 'kidnapping' of these animals happens often. I've seen more than one monkey or baboon tied with a rope and kept in the villages. The kids spend hours watching their mannerisms and 'playing' with them. I can see that we may have to model for these children not just a respect of humankind but also a respect of all that God created.


Notinthewild said...

Lol--nice balance of imagination and realism with the jungle gym idea.
It would be very interesting to know how the Ik conceive of animals--in relation to humans. At least the poor baby baboon has a better chance than the tiny red-eared slider turtles in China who get sold in the clear fluid-filled pendant of a necklace. A live-turtle necklace--! For a few weeks. :( :(

rln said...

order me one of those, please! haha great blog. reminds me of when Terrill said he didn't have "time" to ride his bicycle when we lived at Makoko:-) Mom

ChadandRachel said...

"Tule, tule, tusimbakizie baba" only takes a stick and a pile of dirt.