Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 1.

It's quite fitting that I'm blogging about day one in the schools on the one month anniversary of this very day. I miss Adziwa and Kauma village with every fiber of my being. I'm so ready to go back.

We all woke up to an extremely cold morning. Who knew that Africa was cold? We all had sweats on for breakfast. We were that cold. The boys woke up for early showers (hey, at least they are showering!) and then we all met for breakfast. We had toast, porridge, and baked beans. Yes, baked beans. For breakfast. It turned out that we had to wait about 30 minutes for breakfast to be finished, which we totally didn't mind. We were used to "Africa Time," which basically means that it will get here when it gets here. Be patient. No worries. I am still on Africa Time, and it drives those around me nuts. But I find a specific serenity in it.

As we enjoyed our breakfast, and talked about the night sounds we heard, including the bird outside of Hut One's window, Kyle came around the tables saying, "Okay guys, funny story!" And we all knew that this story was not going to be funny. Kyle then launched in to telling us about how in Malawi, they don't observe a time switch like the surrounding countries do. So instead of the time being 8 hours behind American time, the correct time was 7 hours behind American time. So the little man that gets our shower water warm? We woke him up. And he was apologizing for not having our water ready. No wonder the breakfast guys weren't ready, we were wrong! Looking back on it, the story is quite funny. But we all were thinking about that extra hour of sleep we could have had. Oh well. :]

After breakfast, we gathered up our materials that we would need for the day, and headed out. I was on school duty all day, including Vacation Bible School that afternoon. I could NOT be more excited. We drove through the villages again, and people of all shapes, ages, and sizes would come running out of nowhere, just to wave at a passing bus of Americans. Many asked for money, but the younger kids all yelled happily and waved their little arms off. We felt like rockstars.

We arrived in Adziwa, were shown around, and began working. The construction team split off to go begin working and meet all the men that worked on the house. We started our walk up to the schools, being led by Thandi. She was possibly the most patient and loving woman that I have ever met. We first went to the elementary school, and looked around a bit there. The children, of course, went crazy. Many of them had never seen a white person, and they all wanted to shake our hands. It was precious. We were TOTALLY a distraction, but I could tell that the kids were eating it up.

On our way to the "middle school" (grades are different, the team called it the middle school), we noticed many of the children that were fleeing from something. Connee, one of the leaders that went with us, quickly asked if we were in danger. Thandi and the headmaster from the school system told us that we should not have fear, they would take care of us if something came up. Then they explained that the Chichewa tribe was having a funeral procession- the chief's son had died. The Chichewa tribe is a native tribe, so therefore they do not practice Christian-based funerals. The tribe had beasts that would run around town, and capture people. We had nothing to fear though, because it was a time of mourning, and the young men would not capture anyone. The children, however were terrified. The men running around would wear masks and carry machetes, which were menacing to the little guys. If captured, a prisioner would have to return to the graveyard with the "beasts" and be initiated. It was quite alarming, but really interesting to see. We were not allowed to make eye contact, wave, or take pictures of the Chichewa people for our safety. The Lord totally had His hand upon us!

We then ventured to the middle and high schools, and I was shown just how much I am so blessed. The Lord has given me a desk, a notebook, and textbooks. He has given my teachers erasers, and my friends school materials also. How blessed I am!

After we saw each school, Thandi instructed us to split into pairs, one pair per school. Emily and I went to the elementary school, and were able to teach a class of 3 and 4 year olds. They were absolutely precious.

When it was time for lunch, the teacher that Emily and I were helping instructed us to come outside and sit on a bench she had pulled out for us. She then told us that she was going to get us some lunch-the same lunch that the students in the school were eating. As she walked away, Emily and I looked at each other with tears in our eyes. Here was this precious lady offering up all she had to her visitors. What a beautiful picture. She then came back and with a distressed look on her face, told us that they were out of porridge. Emily and I tried our best to explain that we had our own lunch back in Adziwa. The woman was obviously relieved, and then invited us inside to hear the children sing. I was so humbled and amazed at the hospitality of this woman who had nothing. How cool is Daddy!

The children singing. It brought tears to my eyes, WHAT a picture of Heaven!

I'm going to stop there, this is the longest post ever. I'll pick up tomorrow with the rest of day one!

1 comment:

n_coyle said...

I love this. And I miss you already.