Lowell and the others walked down to the river and the steam lodge and bath house that lay just as it left the village. These days they were a little more self conscious about being naked with members of the opposite sex but the rough woven towels you needed to sit on in the steam lodge were just large enough to allow a little modesty and the communal bath was just deep enough. As they sat and relaxed they discussed what tonight's event might be. Carla and Trina hoped it might be a dance and knew who it was that they wanted to dance with. Lowell and Freddy thought it might be a play, it would make a change to have one done by people they did not know, just as long as it was not Shakespear again.
Clean and relaxed they climbed up the cliff to their parents' homes and dumped their packs. The smell of cooking drifted between the close packed rooms. Lowell sniffed that air, someone was having chilli and somebody else chicken. He changed clothes and made his way to his mother's kitchen, over the charcoal brazier he could see part of a jointed chicken browning nicely. He hugged his mother and reached for a chicken leg. "You just wait 'till you father gets here," she smiled, " he has just gone to swap some chicken for some yams Carla's mother is cooking."
Lowell thought dinner would never finish. He was anxious to get down the cliff to find out just what the evening held. Eventually after cleaning their plates he and his parents joined the other families climbing down to the hall.
The hall was dark and crowded, only a few oil lamps were lit and it was hard to see, perhaps it was going to be a play. Odd hissing and wheezing sounds came from an open door to the side of the hall and a thick rope led from the door to a large box at the rear of the hall. On the small stage a large white sheet hung from the rafters. What was going on? George greeted Lowell and pointed him to one of four seats vacant at the front, Carla, Trina and Freddy joined him. George made his way to the stage and started to speak. "Tonight we are happy to greet our visitors from the sea port of Palm Springs. They have a large and thriving settlement there and are travelling the country to establish trading relationships with smaller groups like us and Prescott. They have brought with them one of the marvels that they have managed to produce through their trading and engineering advances. I will shut up now and let them get started."
From outside the hall the sound of hissing and creaking increased and was joined by whirring and crackling sound from the rear of the hall. A bright light appeared on the white sheet and numbers counted down on the screen, The hall was filled with the sound of music and a giant lion appeared on the screen and roared. The lion vanished and was replaced by the picture of a cat and a mouse and the words Tom and Jerry. Amazement was followed by laughter at the antics of the creatures. In all the visitors showed four films.The one that caused most excitement was the final one. It started with a tall tower that spouted flame at its base and rose into the sky. The ancient voice explained it was travelling to the moon. It ended with a man stepping down a ladder and saying something about a small step for a man.
The leader of the visitors from Palm Springs got up on stage to speak after the show. "It may be many generations before a man steps onto the moon again but we will work to bring useful medicines, tools, machines and other advances to the world. We have learnt from the errors of the past and will do so in harmony with the planet. This is a new beginning."