No Dolls, No Photos, No Toothbrush
Before sunrise on a November morning, she rises from the faded plastic mat that serves as her mattress, barely thicker than the cover of a glossy magazine. Pushing open the metal door of her mud hut, she sets her almond-shaped eyes on the first day of this season's harvest.
Each afternoon, Clarisse walks back to the hut, exhausted. Some days, she says, the farmer's wife brings her a starchy white paste, made from corn or millet. Her head bowed, Clarisse makes the sign of the cross with her right hand before raising her chin and sinking her fingers into the gelatinous paste. If she's lucky, she's fed once per day, she says. Some days, she doesn't eat at all.