Freeloading in Zambia

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I'm living with a family during training here in Mwekera. The Mususu household has fluctuated in size between 5 and 11 people, because Zambians traditionally have a sort of extended family exchange program. It's been an interesting experience, to say the least, but I'll focus my attention on the one member of the family that has (to my chagrin) been present the entire time. JONES.

Jones is five. He is a monster. He is the kind of kid that gets whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. Apparently it's possible for a kid to be spoiled even in a country where the average income is $200 a year. He pouts, he beats up his sisters and cousins (and they get in trouble if they cry, Jones is never in the wrong) and he thinks he's just about the funniest thing to strut the planet Earth. He will openly mock me in right to my face if he thinks it will get a laugh. I am not a fan of being mocked.

Case in point: When I'm at home I'm usually in my oversmall bedroom reading or studying or just trying to avoid everyone. He found out that if he asked me for my headlamp to go to the bathroom that I would give it to him out of sympathy (nobody should have to crap in the dark). It took about two times of asking politely before he decided that he was ENTITLED to my headlamp and came to me and said, "Give me your torch."

"No, Jones, you have to say please first."

"Give it to me."

"No. Say please."

"Give me the torch."

"Say please and you can have it, Jones."


This was obviously a very mature interchange, and it went on for about three minutes. Needless to say I was more stubborn than he was, but was also pretty disgusted with myself for having gotten into a battle of wills with a five year old. Hey, a man has to stand by his principles.


  • At 8:56 PM, Blogger Blinded said…

    thanks for the laugh.
    i forgot to mention that i like your pink blog.

  • At 2:26 AM, Blogger SerenitySprings said…

    LOL...what a great story. I prefer to refer to children like Jones as PAKs. (Punk Ass Kids)

  • At 10:05 PM, Blogger Jeannie said…

    I wonder what kind of teenager Jones turned out to be?

  • At 3:05 PM, Blogger Jeannie said…

    Rereading your blog Wyatt. God how I miss you.


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