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Candy – you have to earn it
Monday, 15 September 2014 Written by Magdalena Mišković

How to say no to a child asking for candy? Trust me: it’s very hard to do, at least in this village of Kivumu. But you simply have to promise yourself that you won’t totally spoil them, at least not each and every time, because sometimes you just have to give in ;)

Candy – you have to earn it

I, too, was one of those people who, preparing for the trip, went to the store and looked only for big bags of bonbons and lollypops. I thought, “Every time I see a child I’ll give them some of this.” They don’t have the money to buy candy because they can’t even afford a meal every day. However, as I unpacked my luggage, I decided to hand over the candy (except for one bag :) to fra Ivica, the person I trusted to know when exactly to give it to the children.

What fra Ivica is trying to do here is to develop a sense in the local children that things have to be earned through personal effort, instead of getting used to get things for nothing. That way you would just raise people who aren't willing to put in any effort, but just hold out their hands instead and wait for someone to give them what they need. This is proof that people here and people where I come from are completely the same deep inside. If we learn to work hard in life, we will continue to work hard, and if we learn that everything is to be served on a platter to us, we will just wait to see if we get something for free our whole life.

Nonetheless, these people are used to hard work here, from dawn till dusk. It’s a bit different than back home, because here the sun always rises at 6 AM and sets at 6 PM. Everyone works whole day, and everyone has a chore, so it’s not unusual to see children carrying firewood, water, or something like that. The moment I see them, I think about how they are too young to be working, but I’m obviously wrong. These kids do work, and they smile as they do it.

And when I think about how, first of all, I, myself, and then everyone else often simply don’t feel like working, I have to admit that we are lazy. Or, think about when I go to the store and I am able to pick whatever I want, because I have both a choice and the means to pay for my own desires and whims.

Here in Rwanda, people can’t even wish for things... because they don’t even know they exist. But, on the other hand, people here are extremely rich – not in money, but in smiles, kindness, simplicity and spiritual purity. And, since we’re talking about spirituality, I am going to tell you about my first Sunday Mass experience here... but, in my next article, of course...

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