Travelling full-time doesn’t mean that we lose our community. Instead, as we embrace experiences and make friends along the way, we gain a village lifestyle within the global village where every child is a blessing and joy.

We’ve been using our van as an extra bedroom. After removing the back seats, mattresses and blankets make it a safe place for Elijah to nap, one of the girls to escape her sisters’ company or David and me to sleep. And as we lay in the van and listen to the girls romping in the house, David remarks how thankful he is for Brian’s warm presence. Having another adult around means David and I can retreat — almost childless (there’s always Elijah) — together to a fire bath or van. It’s now possible to go for a walk together or just sit in silence.

All this is possible because of one extra person in our lives. And so we acknowledge the truth in the African proverb:

It takes a village to raise a child.

Calista and Aisha on farm machinery, June 2012
Our children's formative years are influenced and enhanced by our travelling experiences and the wonderful people we meet along the way.

As we travel, we find communities and homes that embrace us into their lives. These people become the friends for us and our children, our brothers and sisters in the absence of blood relatives, instant grandparents, mentors and confidantes.

Our children are exposed to a wide range of living circumstances — plumbing, electricity, warmth, space and cleanliness — and they do not judge a home based on these factors. Instead, they respond to the occupants’ interest in them, their playfulness, their levels of friendliness, love or fear.

Every individual has their own quirks, every home has a different set of guidelines by which it runs smoothly. And as we experience the full gamut of lifestyles, we realise that we are dwelling with a village, albeit a roving one.

Adults who take an interest in our children cover gaps in their education — instructing them in everything from swimming strokes to times tables. New friends introduce us to products, diets and experiences of which we would otherwise remain ignorant. Women and men provide companionship along with the chores, and work loses its difficulty as we talk and laugh alongside each other.

I love this village life. Our children are thriving, and we are daily encouraged in pursuing righteousness, enlightenment and conscious parenting.

For so long we desired to be part of a caring community, and we sought it in religious institutions and the suburbs. Ironically, after we left our house being, we discovered that village-life is possible wherever we are — in connecting, loving and sharing in real life with generous people who open their lives to us.

You are the global village, the one that is raising our children along with us. We thank you — we can’t do it alone!


I can’t say “it takes a village” without Raffi’s melodious voice echoing in my head. He’s our favourite children’s entertainer and an advocate for child-honouring. Here’s Raffi encouraging us to respect our children and create a world where self-confidence trumps consumer-confidence. He also sings “It takes a village”. Watch this, you won’t be disappointed!

It Takes A Village
(Words and Music by Raffi)
© 1999 Homeland Publishing

What does it take, for a baby girl to grow up good and strong?
What does it take for a baby girl?
What does it take for a baby boy to grow up full of love?
What does it take for a baby boy?

It takes a village,
It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village,
No one can do it alone.
It takes a village to raise a child.

And in the early years of life
What does a newborn need to be whole, to thrive in every way?
In these crucial early years, when the brain is growing,
And the love for a lifetime takes hold.
Not just parents’ love, not just love of the family
It takes all of this and more
Not just teachers who care, not just the care of doctors
It takes all of this and more.

How about the love of farmers?
How about the business people?
How about the people who pass the laws?
How about your next-door neighbor?
How about the corner grocer?
It takes all of this and more.