The rain had arrived. This morning thunderstorm had washed away a lot of dirt and dust that was left behind during the dry season. The brownish leaves covered with sand and soil was once again flushed, exposing their true colours of evergreen.
I went out to the garden to see whether the storm had done any damages to the surrounding. There they were. They seem like the terracotta of Mother Nature. A beautiful sight had sprung up before my very eyes.
These mushrooms are staple food for the villagers in Uganda. It’s a gift from nature to these folks. The older generations will teach the younger generations how to identify which are edible and which are not. They were taught how to take care of themselves at a very young age. They depend on land and nature for survival. Living with them long enough to see how little they need. Their quality of life surpasses many people’s imagination if one is not here to witness.
Actually how does one define the quality of life? Is it based on the amount of money you have? Or how powerful you are in the society? Why do we need to differentiate countries as more developed or less developed? In what angle do we see the word “developed”?
It’s sad to see people in the so call “developed or First World” countries criticizing and belittling people from the so called “less developed countries”. Our forefathers were once farmers. We should not forget our roots, how did we arrive to where we are today. In fact with their skills and knowledge in survival, I can say that in this aspect, they are much more developed than anyone of us. So if we were to approach at this angle, are we not “less developed” than them?
Going back to basic, the child that was brought up in this village prevails because he was taught how to survive in this kind of harsh environment. Throw a child of the same age from Singapore and I can bet that he or she can never survive a single day.
The farmer knows how to go into the forest, harvest seeds to grow so that his family will have food on the table. He doesn’t need to beg nor borrow. He had provided his family a stress free environment where his children can run free and wild. In comparison with a man that needs to feed his family in Singapore, constantly he has to be on his toes. The society has “developed” in such a way that many a times; one has to spend future income in order to survive. If not, he will not be able to provide a roof over for his family or to put food on the table. Literally, most of us are working for the banks. The farmer works for nobody but himself.
As my house boy gathered the mushrooms, you can feel the excitement in his tone. To him, it was like going back to his younger days, rummaging through the forest, hoping to pluck them and bring them home for dinner. They would then have another dish for his family. His growing up days was filled with much family bonding and friends within his village. He would talk about his closeness with his parents and siblings.
With a simple act of Mother Nature, I drop my work for a moment to learn the meaning of the phrase, “Quality of Life”.