back row: Ezekiel 13, Richard and Esther Mwenda, holding Miriam 18 mos.
Middle row: Sophia 9, Job 10, Felicia (the orphan niece they took in who is about 9)
Front row: Elias 3, Richard Jr 5,
Esther's mother is not in the picture. The Mwenda's lost their two oldest children, who died when they were young. One from malaria and one from dehydration caused from having diarreah.
We are standing in front of the hut we stayed in.
So with our family of 5, it meant they had 15 mouths to feed. I know we put a financial strain on them, but they were so gracious and went out of their way for us in all things.
An oxcart pulled up at 6am and Doug was asked to drive
Ezekiel did take over once they reached the road.
They went to the groundnut (peanut) field to bring back some of the harvested branches of groundnuts, so we could get them off the stems. They all usually go to the field and work there, but they brought them back to the shade for us today.
I washed last night's dishes, and everyone else started on groundnuts.
That job lasted until lunch, and so I did get a chance to help out later. I had to wash clothes first because of accidents, and I also helped Esther shell some nuts. She showed me how to toss them so the chaff would blow, but it is much harder than it looks. She was really good at it.
Next, I pounded the groundnuts into a fine flour. She was adding the mixture to the cooked pumpkin leaves we were having for lunch. Then, after that, I got to help with the groundnuts.
Lunch was great, but Caleb ate nothing! The Mwenda's were so worried about Caleb not eating, that after lunch, Esther and I shelled some corn from the storage bin, and she made popcorn for him. Everyone shared it, but when it got to the bottom of the bow, Esther stopped everyone from eating and gave it all to Caleb. Sweet lady!
While she popped the second of three pots of popcorn, I hauled water outside to soak the lunch dishes. The water is stored in a big trashcan in the smoke house. The children bring it from the well each morning to store it for the days use.
It took me NINE trips to get all the water out there that I needed. What a way to have to wash dished 3 times a day. At least I have running water at my house in Arua!
While all this work was going on, Caleb was entertainment for most of the kids in the village. Here he is "playing drums" on the bottom of a bucket while the other kids danced.
This one speaks for itself. Such a clown.
And then he finally joined in the dancing, too. His feet aren't even touching the ground in this picture!
Then he decided to take care of Miriam.
And love on her. Sweet boy.
After dishes, an older lady came by that wanted to "visit" with me.
She couldn't speak English, so we sat and smiled at each other. Esther, in the meantime, killed, plucked and gutted a rooster that her husband had gotten from a neighbor that morning. She kept every part of the chicken except the feet, head, and testicles, and I'm surprised she threw the feet and head out, but I was grateful. She even scraped the sand out of the gizzard so she could cook that.
At 3 o'clock again, I was given hot water for the kids' bath, then more for Doug and me. Then I went back in the smoke house to hold the flashlight for Esther. I really should scratch taking a bath because I smell like a smoked ham every night before I go to bed, but that water
It is so cool in the evenings, I put on long-sleeves, and if you notice, I am wearing the same pink shirt every day and the same long-sleeve shirt every day. No sense in dirtying up a lot of clothes,
Dinner was wonderful and then Pastor Mwenda asked his children to come in the house (Only the two younger ones ate inside with us. The other children ate with the grandmother outside) and asked Doug to share a Bible story with his children.
Another good day and asleep at 8:30pm! AND I am sparing you from another bathroom story. There is only so much bathroom humor people can take (so says my mom).