Saturday July 12 2014

Children in the village

By Min Atek

I had some errands to run around town the other day and got a chance to ride along with one boda boda guy. He made interesting conversation and along the way we went through the posh neighbourhood where we saw many people jogging up and down the hills and he made a comment that sent me into laughter and reflection.

He said the people running should simply go buy chunks of land in the villages and then invest a week or two physically involved on that land digging and planting. In so doing, they would not only be physically fit but they would have food readily available too.

Then he went on to share how he regularly bundles his children up and takes them to his village. While there, the children are involved in house and farm work for their own good.

He mentioned how each has a suitable jerry can which they use to fetch water from the well. By the time they come back home in Kampala they are stretched and dark skinned but he asserts that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. He said they will soon recover and get back to their old selves.

When the children are in the village one doesn’t have to struggle convincing them to eat since the hard work and hunger bring that on very naturally.

Listening to this gentleman go on and on about one thing and then another in as far as raising his children sent me learning and relearning many things.

He went on to emphasise how he is not worried about what will happen if the city council chases boda boda riders out of town since he has been working and setting his businesses up for a while. He doesn’t believe one needs much to start and these are the same lessons and values that he is passing on to his children.

So there I was thinking about my own parenting skills and I was both challenged and inspired. I thought about my children and wondered how they would respond if I left them in the village fetching water and minding cows or picking up coffee beans; a life without electricity, without television and a life of hard work, serious hard work. Let me see what I can implement.