FYI, the little boy that died last week, his name was Jamito and he was 7 years old. He lived in a near by village and went to school at Iris. He had an older sister who saw the whole incident and ran home terrified. Jamito's grandmother is involved with some programs at Iris and comes here everyday. Something they shared with us about the culture here is that when a family member dies, the entire extended family comes from all over and stays with the immediate family to grieve for an entire month. Imagine putting up your family, feeding them, and cleaning up after them during a time such as that. It would be great to have them near by during that process to comfort you but that would be difficult. We're really learning a lot about the culture here and about Incarnational Love - love that crosses cultural boundaries. (I'll write more about this below.)
Well, we didn't go on outreach after all - which is a blessing! We've been learning a lot. Getting a lot more preaching than teaching but it's still good and we're blessed to have it. Rather than get into what we've been learning in the Sixth Week - which I'll post next week, I'd like to just share some stuff that we've been experiencing, more or less a personal update.
We're getting a lot of good information, but what we are learning most is not something that can be taught - it's something that has to be experienced. Like Heidi says, if this school was anywhere else, it wouldn't be the same. Learning about missions, while being IN a mission field is simply brilliant, challenging, and beautiful all at the same time. Learning other languages, even other etiquette with food, greetings, clothing, interaction, use of language, and even facial expression are all a big part of enculturation to a different environment to love those you're ministering to. Jesus did this, Paul did this and all the other apostles did this as well because they left their town and went into foreign lands to minister and share the gospel of Jesus Christ's resurrection and life. The thing is, a lot of missionaries go to foreign lands, ignore the differences or give up after having difficulty learning language or just disassociate all together and close themselves off in their houses and do things their way. Then they try to go out and teach those people they're living amongst something. Really, we are here to learn from the Makua. An interesting fact we just learned yesterday is that they don't even have a word for selfishness, and that when we were talking with them, it had to be explained. Chew on that for a minute. They don’t even have a word for selfishness. They barely grasp the concept. That’s hard to imagine, a culture without some sort of selfishness. What’s more is that in realizing this, we automatically impose that concept on them when we are outside the gate waiting to hitch a ride on a truck or catch a taxi and some random Mozambiquano insists on catching the ride for us. We assume it’s because he expects something in return – not so. And there are many more situations just like that. These people are so generous and yet they have nothing. They enjoy giving of their selves to teach, to share, to love. Of course there are banditos and violence and things of that nature, but it’s not the culture, it’s the poverty. We have much to learn from them.
Aside from that, we’ve been enjoying the cusine, although there are some things that we miss very much and hope are in our kitchen when we return *wink*wink* like Gramma Cameron’s sweet pickles and beets, pickled baby corn, pizza, hamburgers, French fries, ketchup, organic milk, and just about anything else we don’t have here. Some of the things we can get like the hamburgers, pizza and fries but they are not the same. For instance, the pizza is very thin and has very little toppings. The hamburgers have an interesting flavor and the patty is not much meat at all, plus they put a fried egg on it! Weird. The fries (chips) are usually like home fries, cut and fried from potatoes that were just peeled – very yummy. But the ketchup is often vinegary. They do have hot sauce, Peri Peri, which is VERY HOT and good, but again… HOT. We love the food at the center, but there are times we have gone to near by restaurants for dates, or meetings with our house group, and such. Some students eat out quite frequently, and we planned to eat what the Mozambiquans eat. However, I’ve been having cravings and needing to supplement with some groceries – and we cook together as a house once a week (taking turns). We can make a lot of things, but some ingredients are hard to find, or are just different when you get them like pickles. L Difficult to not have those during pregnancy! Speaking of that, we’re doing great and baby is doing great. Not feeling him/her just yet, but I’m getting less and less tired every day and handling the heat a lot better, and just feeling better all around. Oh, I’ve dreamed about eating red meat lately, so yeah.. I’ll probably get some today! We get some meat with the children, but it’s just not enough for me right now. I’m eating other protein like peanuts, eggs, and chicken. There is a little restaurant at the corner of the center outside the gate we call the chicken shack. It’s literally made out of bamboo walls with little windows and a metal roof. We get a quarter chicken (which are smaller than at home), chips (fries) and a small salad, a roll and a soda all for about the equivalent of $2.50. Amazing! Thanks to this baby, I go there a couple times a week “for the protein.” Yay! Ordering food here at restaurants is different than at home too because you do a lot of waiting. Many times in most every where we have been, you order, and they make what you order right then – there is no fast food here. When we go out to eat, it usually takes a few hours.
Well we’re having technical difficulties on the internet so I’m going to stop here and post this. Will post more later.
Darryl & Mimi