Today Josh wrote a nice post recapping the last 3 days that he’s spent teaching the pastors here in Zomba, and he shared several pictures that I took. He also presented a couple of different ways that you could join in on what God is doing here, in addition to the information I shared yesterday about helping feed the orphans. You really want to go to his blog and see his post today, too.
Yesterday evening, someone brought us over a serving of the food served to the pastors staying at the church. Just like how in Moldova no meal is complete without a generous helping of bread, in Malawi no meal is complete without a generous helping of nsima (pronounced “see-muh,” the n is silent). Nsima is finely ground cornmeal that is boiled into a mush. It’s kind of like white rice in that it’s completely flavorless on its own. You eat with your hands, and you roll bites of nsima into balls and dip it in the sauce that the meat is cooked in. We also had some beef and a bit of shredded cabbage cooked with tomatoes.
After that, Eric & Stephanie took us over to where they have laid the foundation for the dormitory for the Bible school that Eric wants to start here in the next few years. It’s right behind the church, just up the hill. If you haven’t already read Josh’s post for today, then click over there to learn more about this project.
I had a fun day today while Josh was teaching. First, Stephanie and I made several sock puppets. The churches that have been planted here by Eric and his team of Malawian leaders (around 200 churches), are divided into 8 regions for organization and communication purposes. A team of church leaders from each of the 8 regions will be traveling around their regions in July and August putting on evangelistic day camps, and they will be using the puppets for these camps.
She wanted them to be simple puppets made from simple supplies that more churches or groups could duplicate easily if they wanted to, so that’s what we did. I didn’t get a picture of them, but just picture your basic sock with googly eyes and felt ears, nose, and tongue.
I went over to the church to take a few more pictures of Josh teaching. It was great to get to hear the men asking such thoughtful questions and thanking Josh for coming.
After I left, I wandered around the side of the church and found a girl splitting wood. I asked her if she was cooking lunch, and she said yes and invited me around to the back of the church to see where they were cooking.
The women were sitting on rocks watching big pots of food boil. To cook, they take 3 big rocks, build a fire between them, and set the pot on the rocks over the fire. Today they were cooking cabbage, beans, and rice to feed both the pastors and the orphans.
|Notice that the women are using cabbage leaves as pot holders|
|Definitely Mrs. Gama's first selfie; she was so embarrassed|
I was really impressed by the girl’s skill at splitting wood, and as I was taking a couple of pictures of her, she invited me to try it. It was SO HARD! I told her she was much stronger than I. First, the axe head is welded to a solid metal pole and is super heavy. Then you’re trying to swing it and land it in the exact right spot with enough force that will split the wood. I couldn’t do it, and they all laughed at the silly white woman who couldn’t split wood. I asked her to take a picture of me trying it, and although she was pretty inexperienced with a camera, she did get one.
One of the women there had a tiny baby and a toddler, so I took the opportunity to ask them to show me how to carry a baby like they do. It seemed fairly self explanatory, but I didn’t know if there was some trick to it, and I sort of just wanted a chance to snuggle her sweet 4 month old little boy. They happily put him on my back and tied us up, and because it’s winter here and ONLY 80 degrees, they also had to take a heavy blanket and wrap around us over the wrap that was supporting him.
I bounced him to sleep and stood there for a bit enjoying hearing his sweet little snoring and feeling his squishy little body up against my back. I joked that I was just going to walk off and take him home with me, but I eventually gave him back to his mama, since it became time to serve lunch.
|The pastors waiting outside the church for lunch|
|Women dishing out the rice for lunch|
Tomorrow we leave to spend 2 nights at Lake Malawi for a little downtime before climbing that mountain on Sunday and then leaving early Monday morning for the Lower Shire.