Saturday, November 7, 2009

Games I: Space Bubble

As many of you know, our 3 little fair-haired kiddos are the only white people under the age of 20 in this town (and probably for quite some surrounding distance as well). There are a few other families usually here, who are currently in the US, leaving my mzungu (foreign) kids for this year. So... whenever we go out we attract attention, which is putting it mildly. I could hide in a burka and people would still know I'm the white lady with twin boys (that's what they keep saying anyway).

This morning started out with the boys normal morning walk. Only today they came across a family with a line of Value Village cast-off sheets for sale. Since I love to buy these for sewing things around the house (cheap, sometimes cute cotton? yes!) Kent stopped and looked. He deemed it worth bringing me back later. Well, the kids didn't want to be left home with nothing else to do on a Saturday morning, so all five of us ventured down the road on foot smiling, waving and trying not to be annoyed at so many pairs of curious eyes. We wound our way down into a residential area just 1/2 mile from our house and started 'shopping'. The more we stay in one place, the more the crowd has time to gather, and soon there were around 20 children hanging around looking at our 3.

James has become accustomed to this. It no longer scares him. The kids mean no harm. They're just curious. After all, we are aliens. And inevitably, there is some kind of game that begins whether children have a common language and culture or not. But as aliens, we don't know the right games (at least not yet), so new games are invented. For the next little while I will describe one of these unique alien games in separate posts, so you can get a feel for life here.

Game I: Space Bubble
The Space Bubble game involves the alien trying to get the non-alien into his space bubble. He wins by tagging (much like traditional 'tag'), but the alien is always 'it'. This is the game James was soon playing with most of the children in the road (between moments of dodging motorcycles) this morning. And lest you Eeyore-types out there think the kids are secretly terrorizing each other in this game, stand corrected. I assure you both aliens and non-aliens are having a blast playing this Space Bubble game. It's only the mortified mother-ship who doesn't enjoy it...

I didn't have my camera to show you the game in action, but I do have a previous example of the Space Bubble game recorded from a few months back when we visited the one and only playground in town at a nearby orphanage school. Here Joel swings inside his Space Bubble. He's not trying very hard to win the game...

In a really active game of Space Bubble, all players are in constant motion around/within the invisible bubble, which looks much like a kindergarten soccer game with 12 players mobbed around the ball roving down the field and back again.

I just had to capture this guy on top of the swingset.
Space Bubble apparently can be played in 3 or 4 dimensions...
Let's just say we have a tiny bit more sympathy for famous people dealing with the paparazzi. Tiny.

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