This is a picture I did not take

of a day laborer with crossed eyes, who ran out from the construction site where he was working, to the dirt road on which I was bicycling, to tell me I had missed the turn to Haile Selassie's palace, even though I'd missed the turn on purpose (just to see where the road would take me), and as he, the only English speaker among his friends, turned to boast to his pals about talking with someone from California, I began to pedal away, back toward town, and out of nowhere, a tall, thin shepard girl, no older than twelve, began running alongside me; she was smiling, and staring at me as I pedaled, and she ran alongside for half a kilometer or so, in her thin sandles on the dirt road, just beaming and running and perhaps happy to be alive on a Tuesday morning in October in Ethiopia.