Carrot Bandits


Do you remember the farmer that always chased Bugs Bunny on Looney Toons? Well, as embarrassed as I am to say this…I have become that farmer. I was away from home to get my teeth cleaned and the routine mid-service medical check-up, so my garden was left unattended for a few days; when I came back I was bombarded by a swarm of children yelling and pointing fingers. What the chaos boiled down to was that a gang of kids ravaged my garden and stole some carrots while I was gone. In all honesty, I didn’t really care because I literally have over 100 carrots growing in my garden and there is no way that I can consume all of them no matter how many carrot cakes/muffins/casseroles/stir fries I make, and I’m happy to provide a healthy snack for my kids BUT it’s not OK for them to steal them, so there was a life lesson to be taught from all of this.
First and foremost, I was moved by their honesty and remorse. They knew I was disappointed and that’s often worse than any punishment. They apologized and I made sure to show them how much I appreciated their conviction. I explained how I don’t mind sharing my vegetables, but if they want to partake in the benefits, they must put in the labor just as I do. I think this surprised them because they were expecting to be beaten, but I wanted the punishment to fit the crime.
The next morning, my best friend, Pulane, came knocking on my door ready to work and she warngled up all the other perpetrators. Since I had been gone for a long time in Cape Town, the grass and weeds around the perimeter of my garden had gotten out of control, so I told the kids that they must cut it for me. The morning of, some of the kids just asked if I would beat them so they wouldn’t have to work, but I refused. I told them that they needed to remember and associate their work with what they had done. Now my garden is weed free and beautifully manicured. What I’m most impressed with is the raw honesty and loyalty of these kids. None of them are older than 12 years and yet they confessed and owned up to their wrong doings. This country is incredible and I fell deeper in love with it every day!


About sfubuntu8

This Blog will document my time spent in the Peace Corps. I hope to share my adventures, trials and triumphs. This website is not affiliated with the US Peace Corps or the US government. The views expressed here do not in any way represent the views of the Peace Corps nor those of the United States government.

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