When you pray, do you remember to beseech and plead with the gods for a good neighbor?
A neighbor can be The Deity’s way of leading an angel into your life, or, a neighbor can be the real personification of The Devil.
The saying: You cannot choose family but you can choose neighbors? Ignore that misleading cliché.
Neighbors will sometimes test your patience, and keep your nerves on edge.
Once in a while, though, there’s that one neighbor who becomes family. This one blends so much into your life that you want to weep with grief if they have to move.
When I moved to Rongai, I was looking for someplace quiet. A cross between urban and rural. A place friendly to kids, and pets. Neither too far from the city, nor too rural.
In Rongai, we picked a three-bedroomed house in a new, two-house block. A short hedge split the front and back yards. I settled in quite easily, just about the time the adjoining house got its tenant.
Soon, I realized we had a lot of similarities with our neighbor. We both had spouses, and kids. We both loved pets. I kept dogs, and the other family kept cats, chicken and pigeons.
Keeping pets in rental houses is tricky. They are a constant source of antagonism.
My dogs would sometimes squeeze through the hedge and crap in their backyards. The family wouldn’t get hysterical over that, and we also didn’t mind if their pigeons flew into our kitchen garden and pecked our vegetables.
Well, this family taught me a lot of values, especially on parenting volatile teens.
As we got to know each other, I became aware that the doves and pigeons belonged to the teenage boys in the family. The two boys kept roughly 20 to 30 birds at a time.
The birds gave our homes great ambience and lively sounds. It’s soothing and therapeutic listening to pigeons cooing at dawn. At some point, I decided to buy some for my kids. My kids and I had to read up on the birds, though.
Did you know that there’s no difference between DOVES and PIGEONS?
It’s just linguistic origins.
The word dove came into English from the more Nordic languages, whereas pigeon came into English from French.
Have you also wondered why despite seeing thousands of pigeons on the streets, there’s never any baby pigeons?
These birds haven’t survived several millennia through shoddy parenting. The squeakers or squabs leave the nest when they are ready to fly and cater for themselves.
That’s a basic principle we should apply to raising kids.
I saw it up-close, with my neighbor, and his kids.
Each of their teenage sons had a savings account for all the sales they made on the birds. They’d sell a pair of the birds at Kes. 1000….over time, it’s a tidy sum piling up.
Both teens had a Jumbo Junior Bank Account, with Co-op Bank.
Co-op Bank has a transitional account that’s a perfect for children below the age of 18 years. This is great as a financial teaching aid for kids, on the basics of money management.
As teens, these kids could pay their own school fees from the sale of their birds!
The Jumbo Junior Account allows discounted bank cheque’s for fee payments to the child’s school.
What’s more interesting is that the Jumbo Junior bank account attracts interest payable at 3%, annually.
To sign up, or learn more about Jumbo Junior, visit the nearest Co-op Bank branch, or click here.
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