Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

August 27, 2010

Cultural clues......

There i was, sitting outside thinking of the millions of things that needs to be done inside, but trying to be just sitting.  Very difficult!!  Today is my son's birthday - the dough is drying out and tomorrow 32 people will be here for his birthday and meetings all combined - a good reason to sit and worry.

But why am i outside then?  Well, i have a visitor and until today, i have kind of enjoyed her visits.  But the clueless cultural detective that i am, i have only today realized that me, the great missionary, really could be missing the point of her visits......until it struck me, that she a mere girl, might not be wanting to visit me at all - that there might be Another Reason.  And so, i sit and think Very Hard, and try to look interested in my impromptu language lesson, but to no avail, my head is too full!  And in any case i was also wondering how do you get rid of visitors??  I know this sounds terrible, but there you go, the truth is out!  I wanted to bake a cake and knead the bread.  I sit, i sigh, i sigh, i sit, but nothing works, it's up to the visitor to decide when to leave...... and then i begin to wonder if i might just might be missing the point of her visit - could it be that there might be some interest in one of my sons??  My husband (this is a polygamist society!)  Yikes!  I go into full denial until my theory is proven (by asking discreetly our workers what they think) and hope to do better next time......

So i decide, i am a grown women and i have work to do, she is a girl and would be able to handle it if i say, "look, i really have work to do, but come and visit anytime (hypocrite!)"....and then i flee and pray that i didn't do too much damage - i can just see our whole ministry teetering on the brink of calamity because of my selfish act!  Oh, Lord, be merciful and give this poor anthropologist some insight and some clout! 

August 19, 2010

I know nothing!

Being married, each one usually has his/her role to play and things to do and i became very aware of all my incapabilities with my poor husband flat in bed with a slipped i was not only the chief cook and bottle washer, but also the fore(wo)man, the receiver of guests, the disher-out-of work and so on......and i wasn't doing well, trying to be my other half as well!

And so there i was sitting in the office of the local airline trying to convince this lady to book the ticket for a friend and i realize i have no clue as to how to do that!  (The Convincing her part)  She wants the passport and i don't have it, although i have all the info she or the next person might need to write a small essay on my friend who needs a ticket!  First i haven't been in town properly for nearly 5 months and then (to my credit) i haven't been to this office in over a year.....well, so much for my attempts, she just won't budge and what do i know anyway in dealing with this difficult kind of person??.

The next day....
I am explaining to our workmen where to plant some new grass, becasue i can't think of any other work for them to do at this moment.....and then after a lenghty explanation, they ask "So where do we plant this grass?"  'What do you mean Where?"  Oh, well, apparently i really do know nothing!  And it got worse as i had to now figure out that they Actually Meant which was that they didn't know How To do the whole thing...and sad but true, neither did i!!  I know nothing remember?

And then i'm in the village and i greet the wrong person or forget to do the shake my hand-three-times-in-one-go-thing and they roll their eyes, giggle or avoid looking at me who-knows-nothing!  Or i bring the wrong presents - pumpkins in pumpkin season, for example!  :)

In carrying all these new hats, of which many don't fit and some might (?) fall on the ground and others have been  forgotten in a deep dark corner, only remembered much later in the deep, dark night...hiehie, until my husband is up and running again, i guess we will just have to live with the consequences of things that's not done, not straight and not checked if properly done!!  At least i am still a good cook (if i get the time after picking up all those fallen hats!)

I may not  know much, but one thing i do know - all my days are in the hand of my Father and He is All-knowing!  Phew, what a relief!

August 04, 2010

What is in a name?

As a welcome back present we received a rooster from our village chief.  So the next step was to buy a hen and then we had to build a chicken coop and then get food and so on and so on.  They were also duly named – Vitalstatistix and Hennie Pennie.  What is in a name??  Well, for one you won’t easily be eaten!  Just imagine the scene – “Thanks mom, Hennie Pennie, sure was tasty!”  Yikes!
But to make matters a bit more complicated we received another chicken gift – a rival rooster!  Our chicken coop was definitely not big enough for two male egos!!  So what to do, oh, what to do?
This last rooster kind of got a name too, but it didn’t quite stick…and so as my husband asked me what I thought about the idea of eating number 2 for Sunday lunch, I sat gazing out the window at the free chickens scratching away and I just couldn’t say yes.  So much for the strong missionary type!  (I once received a slaughtered chicken present and when they put the bag in my hands it was still warm, i shudder just thinking of it!)
But then, inspiration struck – why don’t we trade the rooster for another hen!!  Yipee!!  The day (and the rooster) was saved!  And I would eat something else tomorrow and try not to think about it too much!  
Bella, the almost vegetarian.
Ps.  I’m thinking about a name for the new hen already!