I have a slave

Well, that’s what Hannah calls it. In reality, it’s an employee whose job it is to cook, clean and do the laundry, her name is Mariam.

Over here in Kenya, most people have some form of house help. When you have a baby you hire an ayah, someone to take care of your child. They usually live in your house and may or may not have their own child.

Some people have more than one employee in their care. They may have a gardener, a child minder, a cook and a cleaner. They may even have a driver or someone to do all the errands and pay the bills.

Our home help comes with the house we are renting from friends. Normally we wouldn’t bother, but we also want to keep her employed until they return from overseas.

I must admit it’s really convenient. I do a meal plan for the week (Monday to Friday), get the groceries and let her know if there’s anything special to be done. Because I work around 60 – 70 hours a week it’s nice to know that I don’t have to squeeze in making dinner or doing the laundry. We even get our clothes ironed, which Pete thinks is fantastic as he has to do his own ironing in the past.

Every day I come home and it’s both clean and tidy. Straight after dinner I am usually tutoring a young man so it’s not like I can have a relaxing evening in front of the TV. We simply rinse the dishes and leave them for Mariam for the morning.

In a few months we move out to our own place. Pete asked me today if I would consider getting a person in to do a few hours a day. I’d love to say yes, but to find someone for 3 hours is just about impossible. Here’s hoping it becomes a possibility!

Slavery was outlawed centuries ago, but in many countries it still happens. All employees should be paid fairly, treated well and given an opportunity to prove themselves.

Our home help is so great to have around not just because of the work we do, but her cheerful nature that she brings into the house each day. Some people have difficulty finding ideal staff, so we are super lucky indeed.

I’m glad we can help someone keep their kids in school and a roof over their head. We win, they win.

Despite what my youngest child thinks, we don’t have a slave, we have a short term member of the Crean Team. While it takes a whole village to raise a child, it takes a whole team to keep the Wild Creanberries alive and well.

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