The fourth week of farm came with the task of tending to pigs. Now I was thinking, “Yikes, that’s going to be nasty.” Imagine my surprise on getting to the unit that Monday and discovering there were no pigs to be tended to.
The first day at the piggery unit saw my group mates and I harvest cassava for the students at the Garri Processing Unit. It was a topic we had a lot of laughs about. Everyone had something to say about the irony of the situation. A friend of mine turned to me and said, “Pigs and cassava, since when are they family?” to which I just chuckled.
The second day, we were asked to remove weeds from the ridges beside the sties. We did that well enough, at least the ridges were beside the sties. On Wednesday, we were given “assurance.” The supervisor addressed us, during which he implored us not to be angry, and to wait patiently because the pigs would soon be brought in. But in the meantime, we would go and clear the surrounding of the poultry. We all exchanged astonished looks, but as students, what could we have done but comply?
That day, I injured myself with my hoe, behold an excruciating pain, but I digress.
Finally, on Thursday, in all their dirty and crying glory, the pigs were brought in. Something changed, and I started to enjoy being at the unit. I was excited to sweep the earlier empty sties, I was happy to fetch water. In my mind, I felt like I was finally getting my money’s worth. I noticed the same change in attitude amongst some of my group mates. The participation was at an all-time high. We were asked to report to the unit on an holiday, and almost everyone showed up. That day, I learnt how to castrate a piglet. It was a bloody experience, heart wrenching for the piglet I’m sure, but absolutely necessary for us to learn about. We waited patiently till about past noon asking questions and discussing the headways for agriculture with our supervisor.
Everyone had one thing or the other to contribute. It leads me to believe that none of us is a lazy youth as we have been labeled, we just need a chance to prove ourselves, and proved ourselves, we did. Although, I won’t be keeping pigs in the future, I am glad to have had an experience of the unit. Life, in all its forms, is beautiful.
By: AbdulWaheed Fatimah (Zahra)