Updated: Feb 26, 2021
I’m not quite sure that the above subject is proper for what I’m about to write, but I guess it will work. Spent some minutes trying to figure out what subject to use; things like “stresses of life”, “life’s struggles” and so on came up but they still didn’t seem fit. Regardless, I’m sure what I’m trying to write will come out.
I take interest in people and things, but especially people. I observe people, no matter what I’m doing; at the grocery store, at the restaurant, while I drive, while on the bus, in airports…and I like it. Sometimes I get to see a couple or family really enjoying their time together say at a restaurant having a meal and it real warms my heart. It makes me sad in the same measure when I see a couple or people having some sort of argument, sick, sad, loss of a loved one.. when I can real tell that something is going on
Where we live (Kampala-Uganda) there’s a big piece of land which belongs to a government office in charge of pensions. I don’t know how they do it but it seems they have let people who live in nearby areas to farm on it. So people have portions where they plant different things mostly sweet potatoes, maize and cassava. From where I see these gardens, I’m not able to see any form of demarcation so I wonder how they know whose garden is whose (I’m sure they do).
At about 6:45am the family that has a portion near our house is already in the garden. I have seen kids aged between 6months-7years. They are usually with their mother, I think they are 6 kids.
January is one of the months with high temperatures and by 8am it is already about 230c and about 28.30c from 12pm onwards. It gets really hot, but the kids and their mum don’t leave the garden until about 2pm. Kids being kids, and babies being babies there’s fighting and crying. The younger kids who may be are about 4 and 3 and a half years take turns at babysitting their two little siblings (a set of twins) who are I think about 6months.the older ones are assigned to work from where they get there to quitting time. They obviously get tired, hungry and hot. When they fight and argue their mother shouts at them and beats them. She gets on to the older kids more because they should know better. I don’t know how because these kids seem like stair steps! I mean even the older kids are so young!
But I do understand where she is coming from, I mean in that heat working so hard in the garden I don’t know how I could go about it. Even as I watch them (I so they can’t see me from where I am) I kind of get a guilty feeling. Mostly because sometimes it’s during school term and they are out there digging, meaning that the kids that are due for school don’t go because their parents can’t afford it. Working in the garden is ok, we did it as children but on weekends and holidays because we were in school. So my heart goes out to these kids wondering what sort of future they will have.
In the evenings if I go to the grocery store or coming back home from wherever, there’s small boys and girls aged between 5-8years standing at the roadside from the grocery store and around the neighborhood carrying baskets with cooked maize. They are selling the maize to earn a living, but I wonder how much money they take home to their parents or if they sell all the maize. Again, I get the guilty feeling to live the life I’m living knowing very well that I could have easily been one of those kids. I mean my background is very humble but by the grace of God I didn’t do what these kids are doing but I still feel for them. But when I’m in that moment, I get to thank God for giving them the health and energy and bravery to do what they do. And what gets me more…(I don’t have the right word for these emotions) is waiting for the local news at 7pm and story after story of billions and billions STOLEN by government workers. I get feelings of wanting to throw up, to storm the president’s office to scream…and many times before the news is even done power goes off. The power company in this country is not able to supply power for 24hrs straight. In the last week, It is off a total of 16hrs out of 24hrs. I won’t even go into that. It’s not important to this story (stories).
From my day to day observations, life gets real hard for so many people around this country and in the work generally. I think that is why when I see happy people I take the opportunity to be happy in that moment too, but I find important to me to share in people sadness (I know it may sound weird to some of you but that’s me) and where I can reach out, I try to go out of my way to.