Raelee has a buddy, a big brother of sorts, Chimuli Ivan. Around here, most people give you their name with the last name first, and are called by the last name. Ivan’s last name means flower, so everyone loves to call him Chimuli and tease him. Most of the time I call him Ivan. Raelee calls him Chimuli, Dr. Ivan, Flower and sometimes just Ivan. He is our day guard, and he pumps water for me, and for some of the older ladies that come to the well in the day. He is a hard worker, always cleaning up, always keeping busy, besides playing with Raelee. They play hide and seek, and I think he aggravates her as much as she can boss him around! I missed a photo opportunity the other day, Raelee had a bucket with water and soap and was washing Chimuli’s socks. I asked her later, “Why would you wash his socks?” She looked at me like I was so dumb and said “Because they were filthy!” He helped her hang them on the line. Other times, he keeps an eye out on Smokey, bringing him back if he runs too far off. Christian said he heard him give Raelee a swat for doing something. One day I heard him telling her no, and I looked out and she had the machete he had just used to cut bananas down, swinging it like a golf club.
When we first got here, he barely spoke any English and to be honest, he kind of scared me. He never smiled, and barely made a noise when I gave him something, but now I know it was just that he is shy and he really didn’t speak any English. Now that Raelee is his constant companion in the mornings, he has really picked up alot of English. I’m just waiting for him to start talking with her southern twang!
I give him tea and biscuits every morning because I do appreciate all the work he does around here, especially pumping and filling my cans of water!