Leah's pondering gender roles in the Congo, specifically the fact that men wear women's sweaters. Weird. On the other hand, she thinks, "how would he or anyone here ever know it's a lady's sweater?" (2.1.3) .
Even though Leah can climb trees as well as the boys, she thinks it's time, at the ripe old age of fifteen, to start acting like a good Christian lady.
However, she's dismayed that despite spending a lot of time reading books, the children in Kilanga seem to know more than she does. At least more practical things.
They don't play with Leah either; but they play with Ruth May. She's taught the Kilanga children to play "Mother May I?"
After a while, the kids get tired of Ruth May's bossiness, and only one kid remains behind: Pascal. He's Leah's first nkundi, or friend.
He teaches her about the gender differences in the villages, and they teach each other words in their language.
Plus, he has all his teeth! This is apparently an important criterion, and Leah invites him to her house.
Leah's wowed by how adept he is at everything (like surviving) when her white, civilized hands can do nothing at all.