Back Home To “My America”

Some unfinished business in Little Garden in My America which would call for another term at The New Nation, fortunately at home my term is limited by how well I use my time and resources at my disposal. Rome was not built in a day, so the sages say.

Some unfinished business in Little Garden in My America which would call for another term at The New Nation, fortunately at home my term is limited by how well I use my time and resources at my disposal. Rome was not built in a day, so the sages say.

Here I am back home where I belong after three years of service in South Sudan. I’m trying to get back on track gin in pursuit of my dream of becoming successful farmer but things have already hit snug. I have returned to bit of gloom with something mysterious wiping clean the fish in one of my garden ponds leaving paltry seventy fish out of stock of two thousand five hundred fish. But s reminded by one of those tidbits of wisdom which I pick here and there from books, movies, sermons, conferences etc.; “I have to roll with the blows” if ever I am to get where I want to go to. I had so many blows to roll with in South Sudan and endured them all. Like the prophet Jeremiah said, “If man falls down, does he not get up?” Sure, I have to get up and move on.
Meantime, there are so many challenges to be overcome and short term goals to be met. In my village things like trespass seem to be completely absent in some people’s minds and neither do they practice the “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”, principle. So, my ponds in the wetland have become watering holes for some people’s cattle and my tree plantations grazing grounds. Some others have been tethering their cattle to the elephant grass which I planted in preparation for my own cattle which I have planned to introduce in the near future. When thinking of socioeconomic transformation here, one has to brace up for a real uphill task, with many thorns and slippery ground on the way to the top. The perimeter barbed wire fence round my piece of land has been broken in many places. And young men and women have been all over the place stealing wood for fuel. That reminds me of what some folks used to say here whenever the idea of tree planting was touted by some leaders – “Who is willing to spoil his land with trees” and some others would say, “When will the trees mature?”, as though they were born running or fighting like the Patagonian devil’s babies.
Well, I have to swim and swim against the tide and move against that ever increasing force of entropy with each step I take forth. If you out there have some magical way round these problems, you are welcome to fight along my side. I very often see how our government is going in circles with some folk here with this so called NAADS (National Agriculture Advisory Services) program. Some folks here are just practicing what the Americans call madness – doing the same thing again and again yet expecting a different result. With ever deteriorating soil quality and without fertilizers they go on to plant several maize or bean seeds per hole. Talk of growing pasture, and they will think you are insane. Yet the government keeps giving them seeds, livestock and poultry with very little in the way of deliberate change in attitudes and farming practices. Some, people still have this attitude that they cannot treat chicken when they can be eaten if they fall sick. What point is there in giving a peasant farmer layers without adequate financial support and training, only for the farmer to sell off the hens in the local market when they are about to start laying because he cannot afford to feed or treat them?
2016 general elections are at hand and politicians are at it again in every village funeral, ceremony and Sunday morning church services lying to the people in the name of the people. According to my own observation, very few of them are honest and some of them are not in it for the desire to serve but are outright job-seekers. with very little if anything to offer in terms of development or legislation. Some of them have the audacity of claiming the high moral ground without ever realizing how wrong it is to make every funeral or church service a campaign or propaganda ground. Funerals are for mourning and churches for worshiping God, and weddings for celebrations; NOT for politics. Some folk, though, either out need for financial support or ignorance, or just following the trend (for we’re very good at coping each other), go ahead to invite politicians to speak in this places.
I was t funeral where I heard a politician promise the people fisheries expertise from the Philippines but five years down the road I have not seen any short brown men guiding the villagers on pond construction or fish farming. He also advised the people not to sell their land because it has lots of “minerals.” But he did not show them any possible alternatives to selling their land when they are in desperation to pay university fees for their children. How I wish that the people learn to call politicians to account for their time in office; maybe there will be fewer Africans looking to the shores of Europe and America for hope.
Meantime if you have a garden to design or one in need of a facelift within my reach, you can call me up, for I need some capital to keep moving on. You do not want to see hear that I drowned in the Mediterranean Sea heading to Lampedusa Island or arrested by the French Police while trying to get into the Channel Tunnel to England; would you?

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About mosrubn

Aged 50, married with two kids aged 9 and 7. In the past fifteen years worked in the newspaper industry; first with the government owned New Vision of Uganda for twelve year, then three in South Sudan with The New Nation,a weekly newspaper published by Sudan Advocacy for Development, as distribution manger. Now back home in Tororo, Eastern Uganda as a small scale farmer. Likes reading, writing/blogging, photography, travel, gardening, farming and hiking.
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