“Has it been two years already?”
With a sad heart, I was forced to move near a highway residence, seven or so kilometers from the house I called home when I first arrived. I had mixed feelings yet I had to accept the situation when the consequences left me with no other choice.
My fishing venture turned sour because of governmental restrictions. We could not fish wherever we wanted, keeping us frustrated to roam aimlessly in areas where fish was scant. Transgressions, which we had to resort to to keep our hopes afloat, were grossly penalized. In the long run, the decision to fold was necessary to prevent further losses.
I helped a lot of people. Husbands, who joined my boat, given free food while earning money for daily expenses. Wives, who were happy to cook fish when before they had difficulty finding something to cook. Children, who some became my godchildren, learned the lesson of hard work and the value of education, which I instilled in them always. Other villagers, too, who usually welcomed us when we arrived, waiting to buy or sometimes be given their share for free.
We benefited from the experience, rewarded financially, but most importantly, the common bond to raise ourselves out of poverty was reinforced. Sadly, the government we hoped to assist us was the same entity who robbed us of opportunity.
Parting was temporary. We could still meet somewhere, but far from the bountiful waters. We could still talk about life, but far from the seashore where we grilled fish and pass time watching the waves kissed the sand. We could still share funny anecdotes, but far from the confines of the boat while it cruised in the middle of nowhere. We were still friends, even far from each other.
I learned from them valuable lessons about life itself. The city guy was no more, except for the memories and knowledge I kept. They taught me what a simple life was. Is.