The perks of growing up in a small town
I was recently told a hilarious tale of an elderly woman from a small rural village in southern Namibia who visited Windhoek city for the first time. The story unfolds with the said elderly woman sitting inside a house and yelling at her grandchildren, inquiring who it is, every time she heard a car passing by the house. Now if you’re from Windhoek, or any other large town, you would know that the woman ought to be told that she shouldn’t keep track of every moving car, as she would pass out from exhaustion.
However the above tale, as silly and funny as it is, had me thinking about the perks of growing up in a small town and sitting under a veranda, sipping on hot tea in the gruelling heat (cause that’s how we do it down south) and waving exultantly as you see Oupas driving by with his noisy, beat up old Toyota Hilux on his way to the only shop in the area. Here are a few things that I admire about small towns and may just inspire me to go stay in the middle of nowhere some day.
Farmers inhabit the area. With my father being a farmer, I have always had a great deal of respect and cautious admiration for farmers. Every year they risk everything planting a new crop, or buying livestock hoping the weather will cooperate. According to every farmer, every year, the weather does not cooperate.
People in small towns make a big deal about high school sports and cultural activities. Imagine if every fan in an NBA or Rugby stadium was an alcoholic parent of the people playing in the game. Parents can become insane when it comes to their kid’s high school athletic careers. Moreover, there isn’t any divide between the rich and the poor, I recently toured Tsumeb and kids from different socio-economic backgrounds would gather after school and go to the Arts Performance Centre, and play musical instruments and interact with each other in an uninhabited manner.
Everyone knows everyone. Yes, this can be bad at times, but in times of crisis, or a disaster, people all work together as a family to help fix things. They check up on each other quite often and are just one big family, like you could lean over the fence with a coffee cup and ask for two spoons of sugar if you run out, it’s a norm. You and your friends were featured in the local newspaper pretty much ALL THE TIME. Imagine the fame, the glory and attention, especially if you’re a teenage girl with a beaming smile.
The stars. If you think back to your childhood, when life was not quite as chaotic, you may be lucky enough to remember a wide open sky with a carpet of stars. In the country, or small town, you get to have that every single night of your life. Leave the light pollution of the city behind and move to a small town.