John and the giant…
I was feeling pretty fucking sorry for myself yesterday. I wrote a blog and everything. It was dark. With not a drop of optimism to lighten it. It’s been a rough time for both my finances and my hopes. Life has taken the latter by the legs and pretty much swung them into every hard object it could find until all they could do was drag themselves along hoping I would just let them die, already. And the former are taking a knock because we wanted a dog, we bought a house for three and are now only two, and we chose to make a proper, royal-esque go of this wedding thing.
So I moaned and felt horrendously sorry for me in that blog. And then drafted it. I was lucky enough to have Nick sitting around and the sitting around turned into me offloading onto him. Crying the ugly cry. Hearing the words of encouragement and support. And then feeling a bit better.
But it was only when I got home a short while ago (we have no electricity at work, welcome to SA) and found out that the man who tends our garden has had a migraine for two days and is still slogging away in the hot sun so he can earn his keep that I felt different. Not better different at first. Shitty different at first. Then better different.
A few weeks ago, a taxi pulled away suddenly while he was still getting out of it and he twisted his wrist. He still had to go to work – manual labour – through all of it. He insisted he was better by the time he got to us, in spite of our telling him to go home and rest on paid leave or whatever the equivalent of that is for part-time “employees”.
All John wants to do is farm. He owns a smallhold in Zambia and is slowly building a home on it. Both John and his wife, Mo, work for us and when we can (prior to the finances taking a flying leap from a high cliff), we help him buy bricks or roof slates.
John and Mo live in Diepsloot, which for the non-Saffers is a township near our home. I don’t even want to drive by it, let alone live in it. And they are both immigrant workers, which puts them in danger when the locals decide it’s time to beat them into going back home to free up jobs the locals don’t really want to do anyway.
I don’t want John to be a part of my perspective. I want John to have his farm, grow his mielies and be with his children and wife – happy and proud of the life he’s built – never suffering from migraines again and certainly not tending gardens for lazy people in expensive homes and lavish suburbs.
No, I don’t want John to be a part of my perspective but today, he is. He is also the recipient of schedule “impressive” headache medication. My gratitude extends further than my wallet but I want to be more like him even though we could not be more different.
I’m going to find a way to help him build his dream. I don’t know how just yet. Maybe Givengain will finally open its causes to South Africans wanting to do good with a very valuable dollar. Maybe I’ll host a fundraiser, though the gods know people are tired of me and my fundraisers.
And, just like John today (and, of course, because of Nick yesterday and always), I will find a way to make the dreams I had come true too.