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Where Corn Don’t Grow

Curt’s Tuesday Blog

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Entebbe, Uganda

A typical K-people hut.  The black trim around border is unique to this group.
A typical K-people hut. The black trim around border is unique to this group.

 

We’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to visit our friends in rural Uganda and South Sudan.

You can view a video clip of the memorable welcome we received.

For some reason,  the song “Where Corn Don’t Grow” has been on my mind.

It’s a song made popular by Travis Tritt (and recorded earlier by Waylon Jennings. You can compare the versions on You Tube. Which one do you like best?)  Song lyrics are at bottom of post.

There’s few places in rural Africa where corn (they call their white field corn variety ‘maize’.) doesn’t grow.

The song “Where Corn Don’t Grow” is a modern day version of The Prodigal Son.  A young man leaves the rural farm for the lights and life of the city.

I see these prodigal sons daily in Entebbe and Kampala.  Young men shuffling along in brown rags.  Unkempt.  Many become hooked on sniffing glue or paint. Hopeless. Ignored but everywhere.

Some came to the city for a better life.

Others were banished from home because of too many mouths to feed.

Regardless of the reason,  their lot is difficult.  As the song says,  “This city life’s a rough row to hoe.”

One homeless man lives near our home.   I asked one of my friends about him.  He sadly shook his head.  “He’s dying.”

Recently, I saw the homeless man sitting in a field.  I went over to give him a granola bar.

He was holding a fly-covered dead chicken, tearing off raw pieces of flesh.  I cannot get the sight or stench out of my mind.

In a normal voice, with a slight bit of kindness, he said,  “Thank you.”

Pray that I’ll know how to befriend and minister to him.

Here in Entebbe.  A city where corn don’t grow (much.)

Jumbo Baptist Church in South Sudan.  We spent 3 days there last week and were blessed beyond measure by their hospitality.
Jumbo Baptist Church in South Sudan. We spent 3 days there last week and were blessed beyond measure by their hospitality.

I much prefer rural areas of Africa.

Pastor Charles Ramone demonstrates his wood toothbrush.
Pastor Charles Ramone demonstrates his wood toothbrush.ca.

 

 

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Lyrics to “Where Corn Don’t Grow”  by Roger Murrah

“Where Corn Don’t Grow”

As we sat on the front porch

of that old grey house where I was born and raised.

Staring at the dusty fields

where my daddy worked hard everyday.

I think it kinda hurt him when I said,

“Daddy there’s a lot that I don’t know.

But don’t you ever dream about a life

where corn don’t grow?”

He just sat there silent

staring at his favorite coffee cup.

I saw a storm of mixed emotions in his eyes

when he looked up.

He said “son I know at your age

it seems like this ole world is turnin’ slow.

And you think you’ll find the answer to it all

where corn don’t grow.”

Hard times are real

there’s dusty fields no matter where you go.

You may change your mind

cause the weeds are high where corn don’t grow.

I remember feeling guilty

when daddy turned and walked back in the house.

I was only 17 back then

but I thought that I knew more than I know now.

I can’t say he didn’t warn me

this city life’s a hard row to hoe.

Ain’t it funny how a dream can turn around,

where corn don’t grow.

Hard times are real

there’s dusty fields no matter where you go.

You may change your mind

cause the weeds are high where corn don’t grow.

You may change your mind

oh the weeds are high where corn don’t grow.

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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