Sunday, June 4, 2017

|| reality check ||




I know it seems sensational in a story book kind of way that we employee lots of people.  Last month, I filled out pay slips for 68 people on the farm. We have a laundry girl.  Each of the three houses has a maid. Yes, someone scrubs my toilet, chops my vegetables, peels my potatoes, empties my trash can, and pushes my children on the swing or in the pram.



But the reality of it is, frankly, exhausting.  We deal with jealousy issues amongst the staff; theft (petty and otherwise); family issues; organize doctor appointments and medications where necessary; and then we manage their work.  They break things; don't do as we ask; don't report when something's not working right; don't report when something's empty and you need to buy it. AND, that usually happens after you've just been to the store or to town 5 minutes prior. If you send them to another worker to relay a message, that worker will refuse to listen because...ya know....we "don't take instructions from one another".  They refuse to teach another employee their job in fears of losing the job themselves.  They don't delegate the work OR help one another.  They threaten with casting spells on each other. Amongst each other, there's danger of offending someone which can land one in court. 


(so thankful for ^Zondi, who is born again!)

But the flip side is that they are:  terribly funny with a fantastic sense of humour; quite content despite their poverty; in endurance and strength, the hardest workers I've ever known; happy; family orientated; so respectful (have Americans beat by a heap in this aspect).  We, as a family, become incredibly attached to our staff.  They are an extension of us.  Spending 48+ hours each week with them weaves quite a tight bond.  We care about them.  

You want to alleviate their poverty so much.  But the more you give them, the more they expect and demand.  How's that for complicated?  The more you trust them, it's more likely that they will steal from you.  And not just petty theft such as sugar, salt, and flour; we don't begrudge that at all!  But your profit:  feed, chickens, meat, milk, diesel.

Do you know what they need?  Jesus.

I want to put my head in my hands or pull the covers over my head for the day and ignore every single worker and demand on my time for just one day.  In fact, if my maid calls off sick for a day, I enjoy the break of having someone in my house from 7 - 5.  

Do you know what I need?  Jesus.

I'm so thankful to be a Christian.  To have access to the Holy Spirit when I need wisdom.  Wow.  This culture thing sometimes has a choke hold on me.  I also need a physical break which is coming!  To live here successfully, one must also be able to escape each year and remember why it is so great to live in this country.  And prayer.  Lots and lots of prayer.  The only way our staff will improve is if they are truly born again Christians.  What a blessing it will be to see them come to Christ one by one over the coming years.