This last week we turned our attention to our fish tanks which were “ripe for the harvest.” To say that many of our children love eating fish would be a huge understatement, so when permission was given to catch all the fish out of the tank… three solid days of fishing followed.
The most dedicated was a team of girls and boys led by April and armed with a mosquito net turned fishing net. The group made their way around the edges of the tank catching any and every fish that dared show itself. Shrieks of “I’ve got one under my foot!” or “I caught one in my pocket!” echoed across the cool waters until well after dark.
“Aren’t you cold? It’s 9:00 pm and you’ve been in the water since lunchtime!” Priscilla asked April, standing on the bank. “Yes, but there are so many more fish to catch!” came the reply from somewhere in the dark below.
“I’ve got another one caught under my armpit!” shrieked Jessica excitedly. “I’ll get it”, called her sister Jimika. Swimming over happily, her excitement turned to horror as a huge snake, obviously enjoying the warmth below Jessica’s arm, lifted it’s head out of the water as it wrapped its long tail around her neck! “SNAAAAAAAAAKE!” the call went out across the pond and in under a minute the tank was empty of children, even April had to draw the line at snakes!
(Note: It was a harmless python, but still pretty shocking for Jessica!)
Day two and everyone was back in the tank; even snakes would not keep them away from the promise of fish curry for dinner again! Jessica was one of the first in the pond, back with the same mosquito net ready for more! Fearless.
While others took to the standard “hook and line” method, or tickling fish from the holes in the banks, Clifton turned his attention to learning the local method of casting a net. After a few lessons from Kullu, one of our workers who is an adept fisherman, and a half-dozen bad throws, he began to look like a natural.
Day three was the biggest day of all, starting a little before 9:00am and ending just after 6:00pm. A big net was set across the pond and all our kids, as well as local village children were encouraged to come, splash, play and scare the fish out of their minds and into our waiting arms!
Anish brought in the biggest catch of the three day fishing derby with a huge carp, one of the largest we have ever had in our tank. It was a female, filled with eggs, so “local caviar” was also on the menu that evening.
It was a truly awesome couple of days in the sun. It was also fun for the kids to see how, while they turned “black” (as they like to say) in the sun, Clifton’s pasty white skin turned red like a tomato! By the end of it all he was looking like some kind of superhero, though, we must say, “Sun-Burn Man” sounds more like a name for a villain!