Magaggi is one of the guards at our house. Yes, we have guards. When we first moved here I didn’t really understand the whole idea behind having guards, and I wasn’t really comfortable with it. To me it just seemed so colonial and aristocratic, something that would divide “us” and “them,” when actually our whole purpose for being here was to erase this divide. Plus, I definitely don’t feel unsafe here, so it really seemed like overkill and unnecessary.
However, I’ve come to learn that people here expect you to hire guards. It is just the done thing, and it seems to be worth doing if for no other reasons than for providing some jobs. So anyway, long story short – we have 3 guards. A day guard, a night guard, and a weekend guard.
Magaggi is our day guard, and he is my favorite (I think it is ok to have favorites right? They aren’t my children). More importantly, however, he’s Leon’s favorite. They hang out all the time, and Leon gets really excited when he sees him in the morning. Every day, he takes Leon to see our neighbors, who have goats and sheep and chickens, and sometimes they play outside for hours. He often gives him treats like beignets and sugar cane.
Magaggi treats Leon like he is his own son, so it was no surprise to find out that he is a great father. His wife just had a baby and so we went to his house to visit his family and bring gifts for the baby when my parents were here. They now have 5 beautiful children. It was a really great visit. Magaggi’s family lives in a one-room straw house with a dirt floor. The whole family sleeps together on mats on the floor. They borrowed some plastic chairs from their neighbors for our visit. But even though they have very little material possessions, they have more love than I’ve seen in most families. These children are loved and they know it. It was evident in their whole being. They are so blessed to have such an amazing father and we’re so blessed by him as well.