By Léo, Rodolphe

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Extra resources for Kenya, tome 2 : Rencontres

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Obviously he was trying to make amends after that outburst of temper at the doorstep. ” My land! MY OWN LAND! The special examination that was approaching was for standard four pupils and several, including myself, were advised by our teacher to take it. If I could pass I would be admitted to an exclusive boarding school in the big town of Ipoh. I would really be a somebody! And so…no more hanging around with the Meor brothers. I had to pass! I passed. It was hard to believe at first. Our head master, who was responsible for taking us to the examination at a big school in Kampar, broke the news to me one afternoon in front of his house.

All I knew about this plantation was that a kampung fellow was hired to tap the trees. “Soon I’m planning to replant this land with high-yielding rubber. But first I have to get some people to clear it”, he said. Dad took out his parang and started cutting through shrubs in a particular spot, which revealed a border stone. He indicated the borders of this land and told me who the neighboring lands belonged to. ” Dad seemed annoyed… Because this land is going to be yours! You are my eldest son. When you have grown up this plantation will be in your name!

By this time I was already quite good at it. I knew how to handle a catfish without giving it a chance to sting my fingers. But this could be dangerous, too, because some fish-like the haruan-could be aggressive when cornered. And sometimes we would go hand-fishing in the water. This was, of course, more daring. Sometimes we’d borrow Pak Alang’s sampan to go fishing with a net. We used to catch lobsters with the net. And we were not bad at manning the sampan too…even the one with a big hole could be put into use-with the proper know-how.

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