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Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.

I was born in early 1980s and i have learned a lot from then to now. Actually i am very thankful for the best upbringing my parents gave me, and to appreciate every single moment i have spent with them on phone since am here in the United State of America and they are back in Kenya, Africa and in person the few times i have visited them over the last 5 years.

I grew up in a family that practiced farming both horticulture and poultry keeping, standing by my side and coaching me about poultry keeping, or more often saying those magic words in the evening that sent me scrambling to the poultry house. My dad made sure that i attended the best elementary schools, and to make matters worse he sent me to a boarding school – I was living in the school dormitories for the whole semester. On weekends i had to stay in school clean my personal things when other kids would have help clean theirs. At this point i felt like my dad was unfair to me.
One thing i came to realize is that my dad wanted me to learn about life at an early stage, cleaning my personal things, learning personal management, for example i would have some items to use the whole semester like bath soap, washing soap that i was supposed to utilize and make sure i use a certain amount in a given time. The lesson i learned here, was that i should know how to account for my own things, my life and also to protect my items from others.
During summer holidays, thank God there was no school and i would spend time learning lessons from my farmer dad more farming skills. Every morning i would wake up early to help him feed the chicken and water the plants in the farm. I normally got breakfast about 9am after working in the farm for over 3 hours. The lesson i learned here was that the early bird catches the worm, for you to pick up enough eggs for selling was that you need to get up early and pick the eggs before the hens get up and start breaking and eating them.

Also waking up early in the morning enabled me to water our plants early before the sun rose as if they it does before me then some plant would be dehydrated and dry up hence loosing produce to sell that day. To make it in life my dad taught me you have to be a step ahead of the rest and make a kill. Or i could decide to step on people’s toes to make it in life. If i woke up early and picked the enough eggs and harvested enough produce ahead of the rest of farmers who would get up, i had an upper hand to get to the market place first and sell to the early shoppers. What that means is that we will be few in the market and we determine the prices as the supply is low and demand is high.
As time passed i took the roles my dad did in the morning and he could sleep a little more in the morning since he was getting old, i learned how to handle business as at an early age and more i learned marketing management too.

Talk to Bill and others about their experiences raising bi-cultural Japanese-American kids.

Bill Belew

Daddy and Christian.

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Growing Up Aimi Series