Wisdom by Hindsight
Child of itinerant construction workers in India.
When we first moved to CA we lived in what was an agricultural area that was being turned into housing. I used to ride my biks to the next town south and hang out with the kids of the migrant farmworkers when they blew through to pick the crops. Nice people –
I have interacted with migrant workers in many parts of India and have been fascinated with their approach to life and its vicissitudes.
Years ago I volunteered teaching English as a second language class and had two itinerant farm worker students enroll — a handsome young man and an unrelated middle-aged mother. They departed after only a few weeks, migrating to farms north as they completed harvest in one area and moved to the next crops ready to be picked. The program in our area ended as seemed to be no more prospective students since farming in our area permanently declined, too. These students were delightful, friendly, highly motivated and to be admired for making such an effort to learn another language, especially after a week of such hard labor, earning so little money and likely living in barely comfortable living arrangements, not to mention other shortcomings.
Many years ago as a young girl after we moved to the country in a Midwestern state, I worked one Saturday on a nearby farm with a multitude of of other people all ages. We were picking up potatoes uncovered by a tractor equipped with a plow-like device to dig them up in huge fields. Talk about hard work …. I never forgot the experience, was exhausted, and didn’t earn that much. The thought of reguarly performing further such labor is most unappealing to me at any age. Since then, I have enjoyed harvesting strawberries for my own use numerous times, pbut likely spent no more than an hour or so at most doing so.
I highly recommend “walking a mile in another’s shoes” to understand to some limited degree the world in which they live.
I have not quite walked in their shoes but have interacted with many all over India, usually in tea stalls or at bus/train stations and have always been fascinated with their stoicism and grit. Frankly, I would not like to be in their shoes. There are some very intrepid souls who do some remarkable work among them like this one. https://www.livemint.com/Companies/xJZi4T54aVyA8JX6ae9dLL/Mobile-creches-a-safe-haven-for-children-of-construction-wo.html
I love that picture — the boy is destined for better things! Cheerful Monk recently posted..Together Since…
I will not be surprised at all.
already inside he’s a little CEO with his crossed leg and the chair he’s devised. i’m thinking he’s going places! wish we could see into his future.
So do I.
yes agree – that young person is destined for a great life…love his “managers chair” most of the crops that have to be handpicked, whether directly at ground leavel or on shrubs or trees – the angle that is repetitive must be very tiring on ones’ body – bending down, stretching up, reaching up/over/down… at harvest time here, there is always a shortage of seasonal workers…and there are complaints that our unemployed don’t want to do it – the wages are pretty low, & hours +++ – so often the grower will set up short-term migrant gangs – which then sets of news!!!
The lifestyles of itinerant work forces are fascinating. I did not know that you had them in NZ too.
some of our overseas young tourists, take up such employment as well to supplement their travel expenses and get a taste of life in NZ… I think it’s a pretty hard existence though…
Thank you. One never stops learning!
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