Sunday, May 27, 2012

Uganda's Children

This post will be dedicated to shedding light on the children of Uganda. Since being here, all of the children have been so warm and inviting to me and the other interns. Whenever we walk down the street they yell for our attention and use the English words they know to speak to us.  Usually all they can say is, Bye, Hi, How are you, and See you Mzungu! It may be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my life!  Yesterday on my walk home a girl in my village who was probably 6 or 7 ran up to me grabbed my hand and ran away.  She wanted to do was touch a Mzungu, almost like she wanted to see if I felt the same as other people.  Kids in Uganda are also allowed to wander freely from their homes.  A lot of them leave with other kids near them and don’t come home until the end of the day.  In Uganda, they have the mentality of everyone working together to raise the children.  Here it is common to see people other than the parents taking care of and punishing kids.  As they say, “it takes a village to raise a child”.

However, the only things I’ve noticed about children here is not only their cuteness, but also how hardworking they are and have to be here.  Children cook, work, and clean for their family from ages as young as 6 years old – in many cases even younger.  Walking around the village I see many of them carrying sacks of coffee beans, matoke, or other fruits on their heads for far distances.  Many of them are also selling food on the streets.  In my home we have two house girls and a houseboy.  One of the house girls is 14 and does so much I couldn’t imagine doing it all at 14 years old, or even doing all that she does as a 21 year old.  She wakes up to prepare the house, then gets to school by 7, then comes home and cooks and cleans.  Her day never ends.  The other house girl who is even younger doesn’t go to school.  Her main responsibility is to take care of the 7-month-old baby.  The houseboy also cooks and cleans and they all answer to the head of household.  I have no clue how they do it.  I know that when I get back home to and get back in my lazy routine, I’ll have the memories of the children here to snap me out of it.  

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