I trail around the neighbourhood jungle, a basin of Goa’s flora, fauna and local squander – looking for materials the school children can explore with in this afternoon’s art project. Sharing the cool morning with my usual company – a family of indigenous pigs and ragged street dogs – We scour the land for treasures. In amongst blankets of garbage, there are pieces of tile, stone, shells, wire – tiny pebbles dusted with sand – small capsules of matter from places other than here. In some aeonian journey, they have made their way to this place. As we gather them, they move on to the next. Some to be digested, spat out, or crushed. Others to be glued, painted and admired. Enmeshed in beds of waste and sunken electrical wires, mango trees thrive high above us. Rooted with reaching barked tentacles, their greenery offers us shade from the waking sun, heavy and damp with morning dew. Lining the eastern edge of the jungle is a quiet dirt road leading to winding rows of humble shanti-homes. Built with brightly painted concrete and shabby tin roovs, their warm character is a testament of the people who live here. Through open doors and shaded windows, neighbours rise, peering out at this peculiar morning scene – curious about the girl who scours through waste with feral scavengers.
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