Wednesday, February 01, 2006
A Case Study
A group of Bodas waiting for their next customer.
Before the training I asked the participants to each write about two real conflicts that affected them. We used them as case studies during the training. As I read through a stack of 40 conflicts there was one that stuck out, not for its severity but as depressingly commonplace. It was about a participant’s neighbors. The breadwinner is a “Boda” someone who makes money by carrying people on the back of their bicycle. Income comes slow at about 15 cents per trip. The boda was supporting his wife and 8 kids on his meager and irregular income. All year he had been struggling to save enough money to buy his family meat for Christmas. Because of the Christmas rush he bought the meat one week before the expected feast. It would be the first time for most of the children to ever eat meat and in the novelty of it they would smell the meat and increase their anticipation. The family felt like the week “lasted for two years.” While the father was at work on the 23rd the smell and desire became so overwhelming that they cooked the meat and ate it. When the boda came home he found that most of the meat was gone and that the choicest pieces had been given to the children (in Ugandan culture it should be given to the man). In a rage the boda beat the woman and smashed her hand badly breaking it. The neighbors all heard the sounds of domestic violence and rushed to take her to the hospital.