Monday, October 22, 2007

It is beautiful how one can be taken from their home, placed in a new environment and feel at home. This weekend took a hold of us all; the love of Ipalamwa continued to encircle us, hold us tight and fill our hearts with joy. If I was given the power to stop time in a moment or a feeling it would have been this weekend (especially Saturday night). The quite well behaved students came alive as they shot their amazing energy across the room and through our bodies lifting our souls off of the ground. We were experiencing magic, something that could only be felt, not captured in a photo or expressed by words. Not only did the students and local share their prayers, songs, and dances with us, they presented us with a great big surprise—a celebration. Again, the space around us was filled with their magical voices and warm love.
The four of us were given a special gift to treasure forever—a piece of love from Ipalamwa. “Asante sana! Asante sana!”
As the students and local were opening up to us and sharing more and more of their village, we began to connect with them as individuals. Since the day had been filled with us all being a unit this got me thinking…
Our individuality is everything, everything that we have in this work to offer and share. There are those who hold it for security, those that repress it for they believe it is bothersome and those that are blessed in the twinkle of the morning star for they nurture individuality and ride it in grace, love and wit, through life’s amazing and unique journey. The people of Ipalamwa have found this secret and that is why their community is so strong. May we only add more sparks to the light that already shines here?
--the human contribution of BBC news has left us. We have a new housemate, our friend “the man” (Mohammed)
--nicknames have started to be annointed; Talking Machine (Eloise by Mr. Evans); Singing Poet (Bill) and Queen Bee (Mama Toni)….
--classes were surprisingly dispirited for the students had to do their chores
--the kids loved our games—Boogle, puzzle, cards (Uno), Scrabble…
--we learned a new sport, net ball, which is basketball yet without bouncing the ball for it is hard to bounce a ball on the ground.
--Eloise waited for 30 minutes outside the door for me even though the key was around her nick, right under her nose.
--we all have adventured to a part of the waterhole, except Mohammed.
--Bill sang by himself in front of the student body “This land is our land” with such enthusiasm and passion
--as a group we introduced ourselves and sang “This land is our land”, followed by a wonder speech from Bill thanking the congregation
--we learned about the kanga, which is worn by the women. The women wear it as a covering skirt when wearing pants or shorts. It can also be worn as a decorative hat and the children wear it as a dress once wrapped around their necks to have it the perfect length.
--Mr. Mheni so eloquently fixed a young man’s collar so he would look presentable in front of the congregation (we all let out a warm laugh).
--all the students washed their clothes on Saturday—the back of the dorms were filled with shoes drying and a section of the field near the coffee house had beautiful colors spread all about to receive the sun.
--we got a glimpse of the local sports bar when the students took us to another part of the village (the alcohol is made with corn or sorghum).
--the students are so kind buying and trying to buy us bananas, sugar cane and crackers. They have hearts of gold.
--Ladiza and I enjoyed doing the Julie Andrews kick from the Sound of Music (the kick she does in front of the gates singing “I have confidence in me”).
--Eloise had Mosu (one of the boy students) be personal translator while she greeted the villagers. We saw many of the villagers that had attended church and the celebration.
--Roger went with Mosu down to another waterhole and got to experience the boys washing their clothes—we are all surprised how white their shirts are—unbelievable.
--the iron they use is an iron my great, great grandmother would have used. The charcoal actually goes in the iron.

Thought For The Day:
“No man is an island entire of self; every man is a piece of the continent” (John Donne)