From her safe place in the trees, Ruth May, or whatever is left of her, narrates this chapter.
She tells us, "Every life is different because you passed this way and touched history" (7.1.6).
If the Prices hadn't tromped through the jungle that very first day, the okapi startled by their mother would have been shot by a hunter, and the spider Ruth May stomped on would have lived. Those are just the smallest ripples of their visit in the Congo.
Flash forward to the end of our story. Orleanna and her three living daughters are in Africa, the mother wanting to put up a grave marker for Ruth May.
They talk to a woman at a market, asking her if she's heard any news from Kilanga.
The woman responds, "There is no such village. […] There has never been any village on the road past Bulungu" (7.1.26).
Kilanga is no more.
Finally, Ruth May says she forgives her mother. She implores her to go forward. "Move on. Walk forward into the light" (7.1.29).