Protected by walls and trenches up to eight metres deep
8:00 This morning all seems calm; there has not been a war for four months. The clouds are lifting from the mountain tops, assuring another sunny morning; babies pull away from their mothers’ breasts with satisfied smiles. It is now time to get going. Marira and Apili will walk for more than 30 minutes to reach their gardens, while Lus, Agnes and Landame and a few children go to fetch wood and water from the nearby forest. The daily household work requires at least two hours of walking.
9:00 Each living area is protected by trenches up to eight metres deep. Lus, Agnes and Landame walk between them until they find the exit gates. Outside, they scan trees for dead limbs, climbing up to chop the branch down, then cutting it into smaller pieces on the ground. One hour later, Lus is up a tree when a voice echoes off the mountain. The women stop moving, the children stop yelling, even the baby stops crying.
From hilltop to hilltop, the wailing voice brings news which quickly changes the women’s expressions. A man of their clan has been killed; there will be war! “We must go back home and wait for our husband,” says Lus. Picking up the wood, they stop only to fill plastic containers with cool water at a mountain spring.