I really need to wash clothes again today (Sunday), but I get a feeling they won't do a lot of extra work on Sunday (and I don't blame them). Esther says we are going to visit her friends in the village, but Caleb had a 2-accident night last night, so I'll check into washing possibilities.
I got up at 5:45 and met Esther outside at 6. She said before I washed dishes, I needed to sweep. Sophia gave me her broom, and I swept the courtyard all the way back to the pigs.
This is not me, but this is the same place, and it shows you another reason why I shouldn't have bothered bathing.
After I finished washing dishes, Sophia took me to where Esther had gone. There was a celebration in the village for a new couple. This couple met while the boy was working in the capital, Lusaka. And tradition for this tribe is for the girl to move to the boy's home and live by his parents. This takes place after a trial period of at least one year lived at her parents' house. Anyway, people brought money to put in a basket set before them as they sat under a large
piece of material. There was dancing and whooping, and everyone looked joyous…except the couple. Go figure.
After breakfast, the members of my family rushed to put on our Sunday clothes. We finished in record time, looked out the door, and their family was just starting baths.
We left for church around 9:40 and got there about 10:15. It was a good 35-minute walk. The church Richard is the pastor of is an HOUR and a HALF bicycle ride away, so he had someone filling in for him, and we walked to a closer one.
Felicia had Miriam tied to her back, and they let Caleb and Elias ride the bike while Richard, Jr, pushed. Ezekiel stayed home with the grand mother to make sure our stuff didn't get stolen.
I just thought this was so precious.
Here's everybody making the trek to church.
The service had beautiful music and one of our 40/40 participants that was staying with another family in that village, delivered the message. The women and children sat on the left and the men sat on the right. Thankfully, my kids managed those hard wooden benches really well for about two hours. It was nothing compared to the benches at the Church of Christ the weekend before. That bench had consisted of two 2x4's that were 3 inches apart. There is NO way to get comfortable on a seat like that, no matter how much padding you've got! Just remember to thank Jesus for your padded pews next time you go to church.
We walked back, and I wish I had a picture for you, but Karis was exhausted, so the ladies helped tie her on my back the way the African women carry their babies. Too funny.
I'll skip lots of stuff (some of it bathroom stories, again), to tell you that the next thing I know, it is 4:00, and Esther is telling me it's bath time again. (Insert another bathroom story here). It was a crazy day, let me tell you.
After bathing, Esther called me into the smoke house and showed me that she wanted me to stack all the dishes in the basket so she would be ready for dinner. What that means is I go outside and get all the clean dishes off the stand and put them in a 2 1/2 foot high wicker basket. THAT is her cupboard for all her dishes. Another thing to be thankful for…shelves!
Another sweet lady from the village came and wanted to meet me. She wanted me to dance with her while Kylie took our picture. She was so much fun!
After dinner, we had tea and coffee, and then we started focusing on our goodbyes, which are a big deal (like greetings) in Africa. Doug and I each made speeches, and then they each made speeches back to us, Esther through interpretation.
This is the room we ate on the floor in for every meal, and where we said our goodbyes.
Doug spent a lot of time with Pastor Mwenda visiting people in lots of villages. They ministered to people, prayed with the sick, and in general, just encouraged people. I think Pastor Mwenda is a very caring man, who loves the people he serves. And he does it ALL without pay. The money they earn from Esther's tomato business is all the income they have.
The bus leaves at 8am in the morning, so I am getting up at 5am so I can fold linens and blankets, pack-up, help with breakfast, and Doug can roll mattresses and take down mosquito nets. We will have a longer walk back because we are a little more tired and carrying a little more stuff. It will take us about 30 minutes to get back to bush camp and the bus.
I was exhausted and fell asleep at 9 (When the sun goes down, and there is no electricity, life pretty much comes to a halt). I thought this was going to be the new permanent me, but right now in Kampala, Uganda it is 1:15am, so I'm guessing I grew out of that quickly…sadly.