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Journey into Disaster
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2.08. Shocked parents
[A phone call is going on…]
The woman’s voice continues to speak unmoved at normal volume. She doesn’t say any word about Ernesto’s choleric behavior: “The children are fine and unharmed. That means, we don’t yet know whether something has happened to them. In my experience, yes, but that will soon become apparent. We ask ourselves — of course — how can it be that the children in a strange city and far from there hometown are picked up half-naked with a foreigner in a hotel? What kind of parents are you, because you allow that? That is what many here in my city are asking now — many!”
Ernesto struggles for words. The woman’s last sentences hit him like a wooden stick. The people around Michael and Ernesto are also silent. Apart from the sobbing of some women and a constant cough and throat clearing, it is oppressively quiet. Some are hugging each other. First of all, everyone has to digest and assign what has been said. There is a dangerous, nervous tension in the air. Little Max also feels that something is wrong and anxiously sucks on Ernesto’s pen.
Alvin, Ernesto’s eldest son, bursts into the brief silence. He sprints over the short bridge and waves his LG touchscreen cellphone wildly: “It’s Silvia! The children are in the BSWD in Tugalm. Silvia says we should watch TV. The news at eight o’clock!”
Ernesto grabs the LG cellphone, hands over the Nokia 3310 to Michael at the same time, turns to the side and speaks loudly to his daughter.
The loudspeaker is switched on, but Michael still has to press his phone to his ear to be able to make a call, as Ernesto is extremely loud. Michael screams into his phone: “Hello? Where is my son? I want to speak to him immediately!”
“He’s playing basketball with the other children in the yard. I advise you to come as soon as possible. But watch the ABC-PTV News at eight o’clock. You will find out everything important there.” The conversation ended without any warning. Michael stares at his Nokia in disbelief and shakes his head in confusion.
At the same time Ernesto ends his conversation with the words: “We’re coming, Silvia! We’re going straight to the BSWD!”
30 minutes until the eight o’clock news. But neither Michael, Ernesto, Matthew nor Romolo have a TV set. The people in front of the hut have already made their way. They walk in the direction of Papa Kandayo’s house, discuss the happening loudly and in a hurry. Papa Kandayo’s two daughters are well married in the United States. So Papa Kandayo can afford satellite TV and a flat screen TV. The biggest in the small village.
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