Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tired and Hungry

I am tired and hungry, and consequently cranky.  I hate feeling this way on mission.  I feel as though I am undeserving of these emotions because there are “starving children in Africa.”  I know too clearly now about the starving children in Africa.  I have seen the bloated bellies, the glazed over expressions, and the rush toward the bread and milk snack at mid-day.  And yet I’m still hungry.

I spent my last afternoon at the OVC today and I fought back tears as the little boys and girls clamored over one another to hug me, shake my hand, and promise to always be my friend by linking pinky fingers.  Fiona reminded us our first day in Mwandi to keep our emotions in check and try not to cry in front of the children.  This is their life.  It doesn’t have to be sad for them.

I find myself shaking my arms to shake away the tears welling in my eyes.  If I am sad they will wonder what is wrong with their life that causes me to cry.  Instead, I hold in the tears and smile down at them. 

In Mwandi, the children are used to “Mekua” visitors who bring along their cameras and take “snaps.”  They love to see the photos after we snap them.  So today, we made short videos of all the photos taken during our visit.  While we have taken beautiful pictures, the most beautiful picture was the excitement on their faces at seeing the slideshows.  I cannot wait to share with you the movie I created for them…unfortunately it would take 7 hours to upload to YouTube from here!  You will just have to wait until I return.

All evening we have been talking as if this is our last day.  We are already talking about Safari and the long plane ride home.  It makes me sad to be leaving, and I don’t want to brush tomorrow under the rug.  While it is Sunday and we don’t have many plans, it is still a full day in Mwandi.  We don’t leave the village until Monday morning, early.  Tomorrow we will be attending church at the United Church of Zambia and Doug is preaching.  We have been warned that we might be called forward to sing.  Unfortunately God has not called talented singers onto our mission team.  Church should be interesting.

Well, dinner is ready and we are gathering to pray.  Tonight’s dinner is a feast!  We harvested over 150 Tilapia at the fish ponds today.  While I won’t be partaking in the fish, Irene, the Simba House cook, has prepared plenty of vegetables including chips (fries).  Have I mentioned that my favorite part about Africa food is the condiments?  The tomato sauce (ketchup) is the best I have ever had!  The chips are just a vehicle for shoveling tomato sauce into my mouth! 

This week has been all about faith on the blog, but for any followers who are here for the vegan food, I should be open and honest and inform you that I have been more vegetarian this week than vegan.  I had no idea what my food options in Africa would be and came with an open-mind.  While it has been relatively easy to maintain my eating habits here, I know that many of the vegetables have been cooked with butter.  And Irene’s desserts are just too delicious to pass up!  My belly is currently full of the most wonderful chocolate cake I have ever tasted! 

I should also mention, that while I am preparing to leave Mwandi and head out for 3 days on Safari, you are likely preparing for your Independence Day celebrations.  I won’t be preparing any food for July 4th but I have some great ideas for your parties.  Check out these summer celebration recipes! 

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

1 comment:

  1. Bless you for the full disclosure but honestly, when you are traveling and in your instance I think refusing the food for the 'vegan ethic' would have been a greater offense than the graciousness you exhibited.
    Love this entry!