Feb 2 2012

Wisdom of the Ages: James, 74, from Kenya

CFCA sponsored aging friend, James, in Kenya

James, 74, sponsored through CFCA in Kenya.

James, 74, has been sponsored for 10 years through CFCA in Nairobi, Kenya. He has seven children and enjoys exercise, especially bike riding. Sponsorship has given James a new lease on life.

What is your secret for long life?

I have always strived hard to maintain my health. I avoided taking alcohol frequently and I stayed off cigarettes.

As a young man, I was very active in exercising and I believe it has contributed to my long life. Being keen on the type of food that I eat has also added me some years.

What advice do you have for young people?

There is a saying that goes, “An empty mind is the devil’s workshop.” I would urge the youth to keep themselves busy with constructive work. They should strive to earn an honest living.

What is the most important thing your mother taught you?

During our days, young men did not spend time in the company of their mothers. Most of my time was spent with my brothers and father, herding the cattle.

My father was my hero, and I remember him telling me that I need to learn how to co-exist with people, because in life you always need others, you cannot do it alone.

He taught me that alcohol was not to control my life, and it should be consumed in moderation.

If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go and why?

I have always desired to fly on an airplane and go abroad. I would like to see how the white people live, what kind of food they eat and so forth. I have always heard that they are advanced technologically and I would like to witness this firsthand.

Tell us something special or unique about yourself.

I love taking walks and also enjoy cycling. I ride on my bicycle, and it is a form of exercise as well.

What’s one thing that has changed from when you were young to the present day?

One thing that strikes me as different is the attitude that the youth have toward the older generation. They do not listen to the advice they are given, disregarding the old people as old fashioned.

What is one thing that has remained the same?

Looking around, everything has changed. The kind of life we used to live before has been totally wiped out, customs and traditions have been ignored and instead replaced with a new way of doing things.

What is your favorite food?

Beans and rice.

What do you like most about CFCA?

I am very glad I got sponsored in the CFCA Hope for a Family program. I feel like I have a new lease of life.

The staff members are very friendly and I feel at home when I visit the office. I also get nutritional benefits; this has greatly improved my health. When I am unwell, CFCA helps me to get medical care.

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