Because our story this week takes place in a desert, water is scarce and very precious. The town has just gotten a new pump that will bring water to the people during a drought.
Fatima is our main character. She lives in the village with her family and she is very excited about the new pump. Fatima becomes confused when she learns that not everyone feels the same.
Another important element of our story is the baobab tree.
Thanks to Disney, we know the baobab tree as the “Tree of Life” from the Animal Kingdom.
The African baobab tree is also called the "tree of life" as it can store water during the drought season which is sometimes vital to the rural population. Large baobab trees could contain more than 30,000 gallons of water, and to get to it, Kalahari bushmen use hollow pieces of grass like a straw to suck the water out.
Because of their size, people have been storing supplies in old hollow trunks or have been living inside a Baobab Tree. Natural medicine uses the bark of the Baobab to lower fevers, chewing a leaf, you apparently ingest some of the tartar powder that helps with stomach aches. Rafiki (the baboon) from "The Lion King" lives in a Baobab Tree.
Good readers think about what they have read and think about what they know from their own experiences to understand what the author is trying to say. As you read about Fatima and the baobab tree, think about how different her life and neighborhood is from yours.
It will also be important to understand Grandmother’s point-of-view about the progress the pump provides the village. If you can see it from her eyes, you will understand why she is unwilling to change and accept the new pump.
Finally, after you read, think about what lesson the author was teaching you by telling this story. What did the village learn? What did Fatima learn? How were the characters different at the end of the story? These questions will give you help in understanding what you were to learn from this story.