Wow—having a baby in the house again makes all of us tired. Aisha needs a lot of help from me and my brothers and sisters. We also help mom. Mom wants me close by so that I can learn how to keep a house. She is worried about finding husbands in the camp for me and my sisters. She says there are so few that are good and can pay us a varad.* Without our father, it will be hard to negotiate.
I don’t want to get married till I have a job. Maybe when I’m 20! But mom says if I wait too long, people will think I can’t have children, and then I’ll be hopeless.
I went to the girls club the other day. I was talking to a girl named Fawzia. She was very sad and we sat together for awhile. She told me a horrible story—that a man had moved into their home and drank every night. He was beating her mother and walked around with a stick in his hand threatening to beat Fawzia and her little brother and sister. She doesn’t like this man, and I don’t think I would like him either. Why are there so many men causing trouble for girls like us? I’m glad she told me the story though. Maybe I can find someone to help her. But I don’t know who to ask.
My name, “Amina,” means peace and security. I’m glad that my mother and father called me this, maybe it will keep me safe?
*A varad or “bride price” is a sum of money, land, livestock or other assets the groom’s family gives to the family of the bride.