As I reflect on the events of the past couple days, I’m amazed by the life God has seen fit to give me. As I say in basically every post: God is good! I can’t seem to say or stress that point enough! It’s a cliche statement I know, but it doesn’t make the value, power, or truth of the statement any less valuable, powerful, or truthful…
We’ve had a team of 6 lovely ladies from the Georgia area here with us this week! They are only on their second (for some their third) full day here in Ndola and so much has happened already! So much I could write you a book…So, I’ll just try to stick to some highlights…
A Trip to Masala
Masala market…I don’t think I’ve been there once and not come home with some story worthwhile to share! Anna Bearden (she also lives in Ndola and works with Wiphan), my family, and the visitors all went to Masala market together on Saturday afternoon. Our main point of interest was the stand where they sell icitenge fabric. This is the fabric worn by most women here for skirts. Anyway, we were in this little shop and were looking around at the fabrics. I greeted the exceptionally smiley worker in Bemba and proceeded to look around.
I returned to where the gentleman was standing to look at a pile of fabric laying haphazardly on a wooden pallet. I asked in Bemba how much each icitenge was. He replied and said in Bemba “I don’t speak Bemba. I only speak English!” I replied (in Bemba), “No, you DO speak Bemba!” I think after a rather hilarious argument in Bemba with the man, what he was trying to say is that he wants to learn English. He didn’t want me to speak Bemba to him; only English. However, he didn’t know hardly any English. One of the women with us had a skirt in her hand and he tried to take if from her to put it in a bag. She told him that she wasn’t sure if that was the one she wanted, but he had NO idea what she said, so I told him in Bemba to wait! He acknowledged what I said in Bemba, but then said again, ” I don’t speak Bemba. I speak English!” He was so fun!
Then, he stood up on the wooden pallet where the fabric was, and started grabbing the icitenge in armfuls and throwing them in the air! It was as if he were in a leaf pile or something!! We were trying to look at the fabric, but he was just laughing and throwing them in the air! I honestly never figured out why, but we got him to stop long enough to finish making our choices and for one of the ladies to take his picture.
On our way out, he did manage to shout to me in English (like a lot of people probably heard), “Mamma, we marriage! I marry you!”
I started laughing, “Awe! (No) I can’t! I’m sorry!”
Him: “But I am nice man! Mamma, I marry you!”
Me: “I know…But I can’t, I’m sorry! Shalenipo mukwai! (I’m going now sir)”
He just laughed…I’m glad that he seems only half-serious! 😉
A Walk Through Nkwazi
Sunday afternoon, my family, Anna, the team of ladies, and Pastor Aaron, all walked through the village of Nkwazi together. We’ve done this once before when the last team came, yet each walk presents itself with new adventures and excitements!
On this walk, unlike the last, our entourage of children was composed of very few Wiphan students. Last time, I was able to recognize many faces, but this time I recognized very few.
Of course, Mike and his brother Cornelius were following me as usual! Mike ended up riding piggyback for while until I finally told him in Bemba that I was tired and that I needed to put him down. 😉 Along the way, I was afforded the privilege of meeting the boys’ grandmother with whom they stay!
On our way out of Nkwazi, I was walking with my dad and a crowd of kids when this woman came up to us and was asking all these questions. I’m new to Bemba so I was having to REALLY focus to understand her. I was able to understand everything she was saying, but I was having trouble phrasing my answers in Bemba…haha! Oh how I can’t wait until I’m fluent!
A Visit to Margret’s Home
During our walk, we stopped by the home of Margret, a seventh grader at Wiphan. She always smiles. She’s always full of joy and never complains, even though this beautiful young lady has Elephantitis. Elephantitis is a parasite which causes the inflammation of one of the limbs for which there is no cure (yet). Her left leg is swollen to 3x it’s natural size causing her much pain and discomfort. Even still, joy reigns through in her heart!
I stayed outside while the rest of our group went into Margret’s home. Laney and a couple of my brothers came in and out. I sat down in front of Margret’s home and had at least 30 children on all three available sides of me. They were asking me questions, touching my hair, telling me their names, etc. Again, most of these kids I didn’t know so they were new to me. The few I did know tried to push the other kids away to give me some space; but the truth is, I didn’t mind all those kids pressing around me!
While the kids were all around me, they were shoving one little girl and she was starting to cry. I stood up, walked to where the little girl was, picked her up and sat back down with her in my arms and held her for a while. Her countenance changed almost instantly and her face just beamed!
Once the visit with Margret was over, Mrs. Young (Laney’s mom) came out of the home and turned on a song which Laney had practiced dancing to and they started dancing for the crowd! That was super fun to watch, and it was fun to see the kids trying to join in!
A Visit to Pastor Aaron’s
In previous posts I have mentioned our good friend Pastor Aaron Chama. I think he has more energy than my two youngest brothers combined (and if you know my brothers, then you know that is a LOT of energy). He never ceases to smile and is also happy to do any task. He’s pretty serious about singing to the Lord while playing his guitar. I literally observed him jumping as high as he possibly could one day while he sang and played the guitar!
As mentioned above, he joined us on our walk through Nkwazi. From there we walked to his home where we sat and visited with him and his family for quite some time!
I noticed some of my friends, Victoria, Karen, and Mavis, (who are relatives living with Pastor Aaron) were in the kitchen cooking. I walked in and they invited me to sit with them on their low stools while Mavis cooked nshima on the brazier (small charcoal like grill). We sand songs together, chatted, laughed, and enjoyed ourselves very much!
Ms. Elizabeth, one of the ladies from Georgia, also joined our little group as we sang and began to serve food.
As is traditional in Zambia, one of the ladies of the household, in this case Victoria, went around to wash everyone’s hands before we ate. She knelt down on the floor with a basin in one hand and a pitcher in another as she poured water over each person’s hands.
After this, we all made a plate of food, nshima and ifisashi (made of kale, tomatoes, onions, and ground peanuts). Ms. Elizabeth and I shared a plate as did others around the room. The ladies who hadn’t tried the traditional food before seemed to really enjoyed it!
I offered to help Victoria and Mavis wash the dishes. They didn’t want me to at first, but they finally relented and let me help. We carried all of the dishes outside along with a large bucket of water and proceeded to sit on the ground to wash…Something is so peaceful about working outdoors!
A Visit to the Jewelry Stand
On Monday, our family returned to Wiphan. I spent some time playing games with some of the girls from the village who came into Wiphan before taking a walk down to the jewelry stand.
The jewelry stand is a small stand down the road where the widows learning to make jewelry are trained.
Mike and Cornelius found their way to my side again. I also picked up a few new friends! A young girl named Regina (the daughter of a Wiphan teacher) and a Wiphan student named Allen! Allen I had seen before, but I got to know him a bit better today! He’s around 12 years old and he has the sweetest smile!!! Holy Smokes! Not to mention that he’s super playful! He came up behind me and covered my eyes with his hands….Everyone was giggling waiting for me to guess who it was! I thought for a second and then said, “Allen?” and he took off running laughing…I got him back later! 😉
We started up a game of futball and he was goalkeeper. We just made eyes at each other when it was my turn to kick.
Regina was a little girl who also has a smile which captured my attention. She is a petite little thing, but more outgoing than a lot of kids…I turned my camera to selfie mode to take a pic with her and she immediately started giggling and making funny faces at herself! I carried her around for the longest time as she rested her head on my shoulder smiling away! ❤
Okay, I think I’ve talked enough for one blog post….I could go on and ON about my life here…I feel giddy when I think about upcoming days and reminisce about the past! God is perfect. God is good. He knew that this is where I belong! He knew this is where my heart is! Oh the wonderful things my God can do!!!!