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Whistle while you Work!
Monday, 11 April 2011 Written by fra Ivica Perić
Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work! Whistle while you Work!

Rwandese don’t remember ever before seeing such a hailstorm that hit Kivumu a few weeks ago, destroying all crops, vegetables, and fruit. But it did not discourage us. Indeed, even though there was a lot of damage and many lost the little they had, it simply gave us an additional push to work even harder.

I was wondering what to do, now that we’d lost everything - how were we going to get enough fruit and vegetables for our students meals? Because, you see, the hail stones literally "crushed" everything.

Luckily, we still had some reserves which will last till the next harvest, but now we need to increase our efforts in order to provide meals for the students, and also to create new reserves for more possible "dark days" like these.

And then it came to me... the land on which we were planning to build the new secondary school! I decided, for the time being, while we are waiting for all the necessary permits, to turn it into a big garden! That way, until we start the construction of the school, it will serve a useful purpose and will not lie fallow.

This piece of land is huge - an entire four hectares - and it will provide enough of everything so that no one in the village will be hungry. But we needed help with the planting. The earth needed to be turned over, then sown with seed, and, finally, this unusually big garden would be in need of constant care. I turned to our school for help. I assembled the teachers and the students and said to them: “Look, here’s the land. Now if we all go in out a work action, and take care of the crops, you’ll have enough tasty food for the school“.

They embraced the idea with great joy. And the first work action took place last Saturday, because we didn’t want to work on school days. We really enjoyed doing farm work. Hoes were working all over the place. The entire ground was dug up and we planted cassava, beans, carrots, peppers, and peanuts... well, just about everything we needed in order to provide our children with a daily good, healthy meal.

And it was an unforgettable scene! Everyone took up the work very unselfishly. And no one felt it was hard. On the contrary, the huge work effort was done in such a good mood - singing and laughing! They did this because they have a lot of reason to be happy – thanks to this work action, in a month and a half the beans will come, in just two months from now, their cassava will bear fruit, and in two and a half months they will be eating peanut butter!

Translated by: fra Branimir Mlakić
Edited by: Valerie Kae Ken

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