by Dr. Gregory Bartha

May 23, 2018

Near to the time I left to return to the US in January, 2018, a tall, strongly built young man appeared at my gate early in the morning. He wanted me to come view his pigs. Several people in the area said it was safe to go with him, and I agreed. At first, Geoffrey indicated it was a short walk, but it actually took about 30 minutes walking through cultivated fields and along narrow trails. When we arrived, he showed me three pigs – one very large sow, another that appeared to be ill and the third which was healthy.

He then showed me his father’s grave. The father had died several years earlier, and Geoffrey’s mother was already deceased at that time. There was no one to pay his school fees after his father’s death, and he had to drop out of school in the second year of his high school. He was now hoping to build a large enclosure for his pigs and begin generating some income to raise himself out of poverty.

While we were walking back to my home, we encountered Michael, whom I’m assisting with a university scholarship. He insisted that I come over to his family home, which was only a small distance away. We came onto several small huts arranged in a circle where different family members live. Michael introduced me to his father, who had worked in agriculture all his life. He leased out and farmed land owned by other people. Michael was very proud of his father, because he was able to educate all his children through high school. Michael was also proud because his family had built a good latrine, a rarity in the area.

Michael was so pleased that I had visited his home he said, “Now I am happy, very happy.” I think that he considered it an honor that I visited his home and family, and I felt very happy that I had made this close contact with him.

Geoffrey and I walked back to my house, and I told him that I would assist him in his piggery project. He was also very happy.

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