Coffee along the way

Coffee along the way
Coffee along the way

April 29, 2011

Goodbye and other taboo words.......

When one lives Far Away from family and friends you build in some defences or you just won't make it out here!  I probably never was the clinging type in any case, but even for me, i had to start keeping my heart safe.....words, for example, are often used lightly, like the "how are you?"...."fine" routine.  But not for me.  Words weigh a lot in my frame of mind.  

A long time ago i decided to not say the word "goodbye" to anyone i won't be seeing soon again, neither "i miss you!" or cry when i leave.  None of that!  It makes it too painful.  It kind of reminds me of my first patient.  He had a bad open leg fracture with an external fixation - it looked something like a small antennae - well, when i saw him, i fainted!  haha so much for my first physio/patient day!   But in time i learnt to separate myself (in a good way) and rather help the sick person than feeling so much for them that i was totally useless!

And so, if i just say "see you" and not make a big fuss, don't think it is not hard for me.  Don't think i won't miss you or even cry when i'm around the corner.  It's a matter of survival....survival of the heart. 

April 26, 2011

Fun with the ladies....

I have never been one for making conversation....oh, my goodness, i have a hard time trying to learn language by talking about the small stuff in life!!  ;)

This afternoon i was sitting at my desk trying to put together a (feasable) local-language-health lesson on food and nutrition, when it got a bit boring and so i went out to do some "fieldwork"!!

All over the world people need to prepare food, right? Now this would be a great topic for me to explore and get them takling!!  (Who wants to talk about hair or babies all the time??)  And so there we were......Let me paint you the picture....

Small huts surrounded by tall grass, a cooking fire smoking away, a forgotten black pot on it's side, a circle of women, all with babies, and  They are sharing their recipes with me and i am writing them down to everyone's great amusement!  Even Greater Amusement when i read it back to them!!  I now know how to cook pumpkin leaves (i think it was pumkin??) and also feed a family with casava greens! 

All in all we had some fun together, bridging the gap between our worlds with a cooking fire and some green leaves........

bella, the bush cook

April 23, 2011

Poking around in the culture.....

This morning i had a very interesting conversation with a man from our village.....

He brought his little girl of about 4 for me to see.  She had swollen eyes......i wondered what could possible have affected the child in this strange manner and asked a few questions while thinking.....allergies, insect sting??

They also live in a world filled by fear - being cursed is quite a normal day to day affair!  In any case, i asked him what he thought this was and he said...."I am a poligamist".....goodness, i thought, where was THIS going?  He continued on by saying he hasn't been to his "other" house in a while and that the child is actually malnourished.  (Interestingly enough, he is the village kind-of-healthcare/literacy worker and he comes to me??)

We talked a bit about food and so on and he left with a few vitamines and advice, which he already knew about, but it got me thinking.....

How do we use our culture to make excuses for our way of living or of doing?  "I am a poligamist" was his way of saying he had an excuse.....and me, what do i use as cultural excuses?  The first one that comes to mind is that i really, Really do not like wearing a skirt!!  So i could, in this culture where women Always were skirts, demand that in MY culture it is totally fine to wear a jean and then go out and do so!  But that is just a very superficial and silly example and there are definitely other deeper ones.......maybe just a good reminder that God is above all cultures and He wants me to seek His kingdom first and not my own or my own culture's idea of what is good and what is not......gets you thinking, i suppose of .......Motives??

Well, in any case, food for thought!!