A few weeks back;

Liban our seven year old asked when we could go stay at one of his favorite jungle lodges, the one with the nice swimming pool.

My response;

“Do you have $130 for one nights stay?”

And so it started….

Liban, “no”…..,”but Abo” (that’s dad in Somali) “you have money, you can pay”

Me; “if I’m paying then it’s going to wait until we have paper work to do in Belmopan (the capital city)”

Liban; “but that’s too long…..can’t we go sooner?”

Me; “no, we have to have good reason to

make the trip……if you want us to go, figure out how you can make $130, if you can do that, we will go as soon as you have it”

Liban; (thinking hard…..) “ok Abo……but I only get paid a dollar to help the neighbors with the goats…..that’s going to take….like forever……so I need to think about starting a business or something….”

Me; “ok….that’s a good idea, what are you going to be doing?”

Liban; “I could make and sell go carts, or cars”

Me; “well…..maybe you could, yes…..but isn’t that going to take some time….like years……and money like lots of it …,to get you started?…….”

Liban; “oh…yea….I don’t know how to do some of the parts”

Me; (trying to keep a strait face) “if you want to go stay at the place with the pool anytime soon, as in this year, you need to be thinking about what you can do now with what you have access too now, remember it doesn’t have to be complicated.”

Liban; “ok….Abo”……

Long silence 

Liban…..”Abo….me and my sister could make fruit juice to sell…..we have passion fruits falling off the fence…….”

Me; “ok….that sounds like a reasonable idea……but did you ask your little sister?”

Liban; …..”no….but she can help, she’ll do it”

Me; “ok then…..but we don’t have a drinks cooler….you know, the big one like at your football practice”

Liban; “we can buy one”

Me; “with what money?”

Liban; “oh……ok…..maybe we can borrow the one from football?”

Me; “I’ll ask a few people if anyone can lend us one to start with, you need to make a sign too….how much are you going to charge for juice?”

Liban; “I don’t know…..how much does juice cost?”

Me; “well……watered down fruit juice in the small bottles is often $2-“

Liban; “ok, so we can sell it $2- for a juice”

Me; “yes…but…why will people buy your juice? You need your product to be different than the next juice, and you also need to sell a lot of it quicker to make it worthwhile.”

Liban; “ok, juice for $1- then

Me; “that’s better, but you’ll need to minimize costs…..why don’t you try selling it by the cup, cups are cheaper than bottles….”

Liban; “ok…..me and my sister will sell orange and passion fruit juice by the cup for $1-“

Me; “ok, that’s better”

Liban; “Abo…..can you get the cups and ice?”

Me; “ok, I’ll lend you the money for that…..I’ll discuss with Hooyo (Somali for Mum) ….you’d better start collecting the ripe passion fruits.”

And so, our seven year old persuaded us and his sister into helping him make the juice business work….

So far, so good, he’s sold over 70 cups of juice, he and his three year old sister have learnt many worthwhile lessons and his trip to the place with the pool is getting closer.

Food for thought,

I’ll just leave it there this time 

Categories: Blog