|The Good Samaritan|
Mini bus and bus drivers have featured in the news again for the wrong reasons, and I'm sure all drivers feel tainted. It's a human thing that when one makes a mistake, all the rest are included.
Here's a nicer story. My wife was on her way from Nadi to Lautoka on a mini bus and at the Lomolomo stretch they saw a car with the hood opened and a person standing beside it. As they drove up cars in front just drove on with the driver standing there looking desperate.
Well, lo and behold, the mini bus stopped and the driver turned to his passengers and said that he was going to assist the broken down car. Some of the passengers grunted disapproval and some were taken by surprise others got off and went with the driver.
In ten minutes the mini bus driver had found the fault and started the car. The driver was so thankful he offered some money but the mini bus driver said, "No thanks", he said, "someday you will help someone,."
He got on the mini van, apologised to his passengers, and was on his way to Lautoka.
Good Samaritans are still around, believe me.
It has been established that many children who grew up in farming families have opted out of farming.
During my rounds all over the West I had also asked farmers about their children. Most farmers had worked hard to send their children to university and even overseas to school. With the cane industry deteriorating many farmers had ventured into vegetable farming and some had even got day jobs to supplement their income. It's tough life because they work from 8 to 5 then come home and work on the farm. Children notice this and decide they would rather have a good education and become a doctor, lawyer, school teacher or find other professional occupation. And the parents encourage them.
Sometimes I don't see a farmer and his wife for some time and when I ask where they had been, they say they have been to visit their son or daughter who is now living overseas with a thriving law firm, or is in the medical profession or a lecturer in a university.
With floods occurring more often now, farmers suffer a lot. During flooding they can only stand and watch their crop being destroyed. And when there is a bumper crop all over Fiji, the cost of vegetables and root crop become very low. Hard work then yields very little.
Farmers don't want their children to go through all this hardship and thus encourage then to venture out.
But our agriculture industry is affected. We need better markets and more assistance for our farmers so that they keep farming and remain in Fiji.
Let's see what the near future holds for them.
We celebrated early childhood education (kindergarten) in Lautoka recently. I now know that there are many kindergartens in the West. What was so good about it was the fact that hundreds of people turned up. There were speeches to acknowledge teachers and organisers and especially parents who contributed so much.
Many on these kindergartens survive on a very small budget and they do not get funding from government. Don't they also merit a small grant?
I call upon government to please look into this and assist. Our preschool children are also important and kindergarten teachers are very special people that they are the ones who prepare the children for primary school. If you go to some of the kindergartens you will see cargo pallets set up for the children to play on. Parents also contribute this and that to help out.
Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.