For a moment, Aasfa is at peace. Holding her face up to the sun and the cooling salty breeze, she shuts out the ugly sights, sounds and smells that surround her.
She is back in her village. Her mother calls from the kitchen and Aasfa skips across the dusty yard, sidestepping the family hen pecking away at the scorched earth. “Help me with dinner,” her mother says. Aasfa fetches some grey water from the well and puts a pot on the stove to boil.
Later, after finishing the thin soup, Aasfa, her mother and young brother Ali remain at the table drinking tea. Not for the first time, Aasfa brings up the subject of the boat, and as always, her mother resists the idea. She tells her mother again that her uncles will help raise the fare. Her mother takes her hand and searches her face for uncertainty. Finding only steely resolve, she reluctantly nods her agreement, eyes closed tightly against the pain of being without her daughter.