At a glance, you may be thinking ‘just another poverty-stricken family in Africa – quick, pull out the wallet and donate some dollars!’
On a closer look, this little household is thriving. It’s a happy family, all gathered on the communal reed mat while Andolina prepares the daily meal. Babies are sprawled out, slumbering in the mid-morning heat and children chatter noisily, noticeably excited about having their picture taken. The father is out, busy working in his rice shamba and the pot is boiling away ready for a handful of fresh beans to be tossed in.
Maybe we should be envious of this lifestyle, simple as it is.
– Andolina is in what seems to be a secure 11 year marriage.
– She has 3 mango trees, bananas, papaya and a hedge of tomatoes surrounding her house.
– She need not travel far to work, her rice shamba is on her doorstep.
– Her children have the security of mum nearby, all day long.
– She is an only wife.
– They can afford 2 meals a day and live on an incredibly healthy diet of fresh vegetables, low-fat protein, rice and maize. They probably won’t be experiencing heart disease or cancer in their old age.
– They have a few fancy items like a table, 2 chairs, a dish stacking rack, mosquito nets, a rechargeable torch and a stack of cement bricks for a future house.
– They get to eat duck once a year.
– The children all go to school.
– The Well is only 50 metres away.
What was I expecting to find when visiting Andolina? The good old fashioned African drama we are all so accustomed to?
Today I was pleasantly surprised to find a family, living in poverty and very happy just the way things are.