Google+ Followers

Monday, 28 July 2014

The Three H's

  • I was told there were three or four stages a missionary who goes through when they come to a place like Africa. I only remember three of them. 
  • Honeymoon
  • Horror
  • And Home.
    I wasn't there long enough for it to feel like home, but the first two sure 'smershed' together in my mind in those short two weeks we were there. I love, loved, loved it  therein many ways, but oh my, the horror! Let's get into a little more. 
Try to picture all the clusters of tin roof shanties surrounded by barren ground on all sides. Not a blooming bush or strip of green grass to soften the village yards. Not a curtain fluttering in any window, or even, at night, the welcoming glow of electric lights. Can you see it? Now let's go inside. See the rooms? One, two, three. One for living, one a bedroom, and the other for storage. Ya, that's a bare dirt floor beneath your feet, and thanks for removing your sandals before entering, that's only courtesy, and we sure don't want to trample all over that bamboo mat where we'll be sitting.

Show respect to what they are serving you, and at least try to eat it. Do you know they might be going rather hungry for the rest of the week because they tried to serve you their very best?  That white stuff that looks sort of like stiff mashed potatoes is called Masa, or something like that. It's made from white cornmeal, I think. If you catch on quickly you'll be able to made a spoon out of a dab of it to scoop up some of the broth. I didn't quite get the hang of it partly because I didn't know what they were doing.

If you're like me, you'll be feeling sorry for that lively eighteen month old baby that wants so badly to run outside and play. Unfortunately it's not safe out there. Today the cattle are roaming close to the house and even if they weren't, the goats and pigs would not be far off. In some places there would also be small, skinny dogs and scrawny chickens in the picture. 

I really liked this couple with the toddler. We went there for a meal, although the spread set before us was fancier than it would have been in many homes. Zach  is the interpreter and an interesting story teller as well. I really felt for him though. His father was all swollen up and congested, and lived quite a distance away from his son as well as proper medical facilities. I've wondered often how that poor, old pastor is doing. 

Once I thoroughly delighted a few little children who were pretending to make Masa around their tiny cook fire. I asked if I could have some to, and shared pretend food with them.  The children are so sweet. 

One thing that bothered me since coming home is the assumption that they have bare yards because that is how they have always done it. Sure there is a grain of truth in it, but people like Zach and others, are obviously intelligent enough to realize how much safer it is that way. Think of the fire hazard, especially in areas where there is lots of thatched roofs if they didn't keep their yards clear. It is an ancient custom that goes back thousands of years for a good reason. I don't want to scare you with the thought of snakes and scorpions and other nasty beasties that could hide in tall vegetation, but it sure would be possible! 

Oh, back to those three H's. Maybe it did feel more like Home than I realized, because I sure did leave part of my heart there!
Post a Comment