Sunday, September 5, 2010

Giving People

I'm sure I have yet to mention how giving these people are. In fact, at lunch today, Kylie said, "Who do you keep getting all this food from?"

Since is was African food, Kylie knew I hadn't purchased it, and thankfully, with Alice around, I don't have to know how to cook it either.

Today, we had pumpkin that Florence, my language teacher, had given me.

Yesterday, we had Matoke (a banana shaped food that tastes like an irish potato) that Alice, our house worker brought us from her garden. And we had two oranges (the oranges here are green - funny) from Florence.

Last week, we had peanut sauce that Alice ground with a grounder (jiki) she brought from her house to use for me. She carried it all the way down the hill with her baby on her back. (I should have looked to see if it was on her head.)

This picture is of Beatrice. She is one of the worship leaders at the church where I go to hear the Lugbara service. She is also the one who invited me to that wedding I posted a few weeks ago.

Anyway, one day after church, she asked me to come back after all the services were over so she could follow me to my house. She wanted to give my children clothes she had bought them.

At this point, she had only seen them in church twice, and she didn't know any of their names, much less their sizes.

Nevertheless, she did pretty good. Caleb liked his muscle shirt, Karis really liked her new dress, and even though Kylie's clothes were a little tight for her, she was very gracious.

This particular day, we took Beatrice home only to find she was locked out with the wrong key, so she stayed with us an extra 5 hours, and we took her out to student camp with us that day. She is a precious, smart young woman. She graduates from University in December, and in February, she is going on a scholarship to the United Kingdom for a year to get her Masters. She has already told me that when she returns, she wants my children in her wedding...that will be a fun story!

This is Florence showing Kylie which beans to pick in her garden. I go to language about 4 times a week, and I usually leave with some kind of food.



She says it is common in her culture, when you need greens, you just walk to any garden you see, and pick some. She has strangers in her garden all the time...and she doesn't get angry.

They just give and give.

Selfishness really isn't a quality I see in people around here. If you have enough, you make sure everyone else around you does too. It reminds me of the New Testament church in the book of Acts.

Our neighbors on one side are from Sudan. The children have learned some Lugbara in school, and they speak a little English, except for one of their sons who is hearing impaired, but the rest of the family speaks Arabic.

Kylie spends a lot of afternoons across the fence with Sarah, the girl in maroon. They make dishes out of clay, they wash the family's real dishes, help start fires for cooking, and fill pots with water from jeri cans.

I would really love to minister to the mother, but I can't speak her language. I've passed avocados over the fence, but other than that, we just sit and smile at each other. They are from the Dinka tribe, which means they are unusually tall. The mom is easily 7 feet. You can see how Sarah towers over Kylie already.

This is Ayiko (that means "happy"). He is Florence's son. He and Caleb are pretty good friends, and he's usually playing around the house during my language class, so I get to see him every day.

This is a video of "giving" at the most recent wedding I attended - last weekend. A few of the ladies just have flat stones on their head. That is what they are giving to the bride and groom for their house. You can see chairs, boxes, and money being given. But more than anything, can you see the JOY in which they are giving everything?


Laura said...

You guys have only been gone nine months, so how is it that Kylie already looks like she's 12?! We need to skype soon so I can see you and your grown up girl (plus everybody else)!

jen armstrong said...

i am going to say that it completely rivals the grand march!! love it!