The housekeeper returned for the third time since 8 am. It was now 11:20 and I had slept in, exhausted and sunburnt and maybe a bit hungover with wine. Since his previous visit, I had risen at last, showered, and made a cup of tea.
"Are you OK?"
"Yes. I'm good."
"Are you needing anything?"
"No, thank you."
"Did you get the water?"
He'd left two bottles in the porch earlier.
"Yes, thank you."
"Do you need more?"
"I have enough, thanks."
"So everything is okay?"
"Yes. Everything is ok. Sawa sawa."
"Hakuna matata. One thing only: do not leave the door open. The monkeys are so many and they do not fear you. They will come inside looking."
He left, closing the glass door firmly. Moments later, she appeared. I watched her climb the door, rattling it in an attempt to open the latch. Her fingers searched the cracks at the edges. She scrambled up to the top where the window screens foiled her efforts.
Dropping down to the ground, she sat and gazed at me through the glass. I sat on the floor and gazed back. Her right ear was torn, her teats sagged, and the skin of her hands was wrinkled. I had no way of estimating age, but I knew at least that she had seen injury and childbirth. She was indifferent to my presence-- neither afraid nor curious, affectionate nor antagonistic. She was simply looking for food.
I remembered a small bag of almonds in my suitcase. I took out a handful and dropped them through the crack of the door frame. They scattered on the porch. She gathered and ate them one by one, looked around briefly for more, then left.