5 IN THE MORNING
It’s 5 a.m., and Edoh, Fellow’s father, steps quietly around the mat on which his two sons sleep. Edoh hovers over them for a moment, wishing he didn’t have to wake them. But chores need to be done, and Edoh likes to at least see all of his children awake before he leaves for his job as a driver. This wasn’t the life Edoh envisioned for his family. He wishes it were his wife waking their children. But she was struck by a car and killed when Fellow was 3, leaving behind a husband so broken by grief that the daily tasks of feeding and clothing his four children seemed impossible.
Once Fellow is up and dressed, he sets off on the 12-minute walk to school with some of his schoolmates. His schoolbooks are stuffed into a blue and white plastic shopping bag. He likes the walk, and he likes to be able to go to school. Fellow’s school is made of thick sticks, and on windy, rainy days the children crowd toward the middle of their room to avoid getting wet.