Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jan. 9th, 2010

“To serve people is to serve God.”

We start out the day with French bread, bananas and oatmeal. The serving table has been overrun by ants – honey is very good for them. It will be a short day. Danielle and Jennie will stay back to plant trees and flowers with Edward and Mohammed; Sam will go to the clinic with Kayli for Sam’s first visit there; and Greg and Marcia will go to the headmaster’s home to work.

When we arrive at the headmaster’s home, we go to get water and Marcia carries her bucket “like African women.” Theo tests cement and he says it needs to cure more, so no cement today. Instead we will shovel debris from deconstruction, which requires only two, so Theo wheels and Greg shovels. Marcia wanders around the neighborhood making friends with the families who live there.

The remainder of the day was quite relaxed as we read, played cards (Ben and Greg let Danielle win in hopes she would be nice to us, but it didn’t work), visiting and wandering the village. Jennie, Kayli, Danielle and Sam purchased fabrics and baskets.

Lunch consisted of cabbage, spaghetti and a bread (flat) in which we rolled the ingredients, and mangos. The fruit continues to be incredible.

Mama Toni’s mother stopped by, as did Pastor Saga (twice). We had very nice visits with them. Pastor says there are 1,500 students in Iringa district supported by Lutheran Churches in the US – many from the St. Paul, MN diocese.

There were many children around today playing soccer (?) with Ben and visiting with everyone.

Edward reported that Anhela is getting stronger and is eating and moving about. We are all happy for that.

Supper included corn and greens from Edward’s garden, pasta with cheese and mush potatoes.

At 7:30 the young crew (college folk and Ben) headed to the school for the “Jesus disco,” while Marcia and Greg tended the home fires.

As we finish our first week together I am struck by the cohesion that has developed. Positive talk, support and enthusiasm are evident daily. Our adjustment to the African way is going well, as we slow our pace, watch and listen.

Ben, Mama Tony, Mohammed and Edward are true servants as they fulfill their respective roles. I know this is the place that I am supposed to be, and for that I thank God.