There was a girl from the village, perhaps a few years older that me. She used to come to a cosp on the hill to pick berries and collect eggs from the chicken coup her family had there. Her name was Jiah Faizullah. Her family lived in a small hut in the village, and there was no free space close to their hut to keep their chickens, and so Jiah was forced to climb the hill every other day to collect the eggs her family needed. Not that she minded, of course. It gave her a time to relax, after collecting the eggs, and of course, it gave me a friend.
We'd frequently sit by the pond after she'd collected the eggs, among the two or three baskets of berries I helped her pick, talking of many things as we watched the fish swimming in the pond, the water gushing into and out of it, leaves falling from the trees above floating around in the wate.
Jiah didn't go to school. She claimed that her father didn't let her.
'Why,' I'd ask. 'You live just a few minutes from it. And it is a public school. You wouldn't have to pay.'
'Well,' Jiah would reply, 'My parents claim that there is no point in attending school. Knowing where America is and how to add two numbers wouldn't help me find a respectable husband. It is much more worth while earning how to do household work, how to cook, how to run a family, how to be a proper woman and behave in public. There things will help me fetch a husband.' She spoke with conviction. I wasn't sure if she actually believed it, or if she was just a good actress.