Square tomatoes, water shortages and pastoral festivities.

Wilsons_2013 Posted by Rory Wilson on Sat, 01 Jan 2011 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

One of our staff spoke to me this morning with concern because she had heard on the news that there were water shortages in Ireland. She was hoping that all our family members were all right. In Uganda, water shortages mean that people are starving for lack of food, and having to walk for hours to fill a jerry can with dirty water, and in consequence getting disease and even dying. I was able to reassure her that while there were challenges, such things as she was imagining were not the case in Ireland. She was pleased that things weren’t as bad as she had feared, but was a little bemused that having clean drinking water within a few miles of home, and the possibility of warm showers in local leisure centres is viewed as such a crisis in Ireland. Perspective is often relative.

Denise decided today that it was time for Gideon to take greater personal responsibility for his eating. He has taken to refusing some of Denise’s liquidised vegetables, yet apart from mealtimes, everything – organic, inorganic, edible, inedible he directs to his mouth. Thus at lunchtime, some pasta twirls, grated cheese and tomatoes where on his plate. The outcome… depends on the measure of success I suppose – the plate was empty at the end, Gideon was happy, nutritionally he was probably not completely replete as he ended up wearing half of it and distributing the rest on the floor and wall. However, so you don’t get the impression that he is developing into an awkward character – the distribution was largely unintentional – indeed the most difficult item for small hands to contain appears to be his father’s small organic cherry tomatoes, sweet and delightful as they are. It seems to me there is a niche market here for helping young children with their early feeding – surely with a little GM we could have tomatoes designed for the less dextrous amongst us – like a square tomato for instance. Indeed if anyone fancied designing and patenting them, I would be delighted to field test a packet of seeds – and you could always forward the profits to Kiwoko Hospital for coming up with the idea?

I wonder where you spent Christmas day? No doubt largely in a warm house to deal with the historic coldness. Hopefully it was a good day whatever the location. Denise and I entertained various friends and visitors after my ward round and church, before joining some friends for lunch. After lunch I went to take an old lady some left over food. When we reached her home she wasn’t there, but we soon tracked her down. She was looking after her cows, in the floor of a nearby shallow valley. There were several other small herds being looked after too – one by a teenager with a worn felt hat, one by two young boys wearing shorts and wellies. These folk are poor, and Christmas for them had been looking after the animals – much like usual. It was a pleasant day – clear and warm… but not too warm, and with some recent rain the valley was green with flowers and peacefully beautiful. I sat with my old lady trying to communicate, and the boys came over to investigate. They were having a great day in each other’s company looking after their cows, and my arrival only added superlative entertainment. While it is a bit sad that they were not all able to feast like we had done, I was struck yet again by how it is that many of us have lost the ability to enjoy the simple things in life – and in the process have difficulty enjoying much at all. After a few minutes with us, the boys realised that their cows had moved on and were heading for someone’s maize plantation, so they took off laughing and yelping and left us to it.

Life is busy for all of us. Often it’s busy with worthwhile things, or things we want to do. My young cattle keepers have reminded me of how I shouldn’t be so troubled with what isn’t right and instead make sure that I enjoy the good things God has given me. Striving for better and more is not always bad – but enjoying the present and the journey as much as the destination must be a good lesson for me to relearn this year.

Hope you enjoy whatever you are up to today.

Rory, Denise + Gideon

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