We ran out of grain to make injera* and cooking oil. My mom was supposed to go to pick it up from the distribution center since she is the head of our household, but because my mom can’t walk very well my brother and I went, to help her.
We got the supplies but it is not much for all of us to eat. I think about the small rations we got and wonder how Aisha is getting fat with so little food. When I asked her about gaining weight she giggled. I do all the cooking for the family—especially because Aisha is getting so big. I also look after my baby sister while I cook.
You won’t believe it, but one of the older men here stole food from us as we were picking up supplies from the distribution center. I couldn’t say anything though because people here respect him. I have heard that some older men use food to force girls to sleep with them. The girls are so hungry, they agree.
I cook the little that we get. I wish we had one of those new stoves that others here have. New arrivals like us have to wait to get these stoves. These stoves don’t require as much fuel or wood. Now, every other day I have to go out to collect firewood. They say this is girls work, so my brothers don’t help. We have to go far into the bush to find wood, because there are no trees near the camp. The sun beats down on us as walk and there are snakes and scorpions, and men waiting. I always go out with other girls—I think it’s safer that way.
I wish I could go to school, but I have so much else to do.
*Injera is a spongy flatbread made from a grain called teff. Food is served on a large piece of injera, and the injera is also used to scoop up food during the meal.