Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter in Africa

Easter was a funny time for us. Every special occasion I find causes me to miss home. Maybe this is because we love to celebrate with family and friends and these times remind us of this. Here, Good Friday is not made a great deal of. There was work at the new house and plenty for us to do. Ron started the day by dealing with a matter in town which took longer than expected. We did discover later that some churches had services but we were unaware at the time. One lovely thing of the week was a worship time that we spent at YWAM. We were there to have a soda and a break and then discovered an evening of worship. It was a lovely oasis for us amidst a fairly hectic and stressful week. So, Friday we then picked up Nicholas a young man who works at the village when on holidays. He is at boarding school and this is quite a trip away. He had wondered if we were coming as we were so late! On the way back we stopped and picked up some Rolex chappatis and some grilled maize cobs. Not quite our usual fare for Good Friday - traditionally it is exceptional amounts of hot cross buns and then chicken and broccoli casserole and lasagne. All these shared with very good friends and family. We did however, manage to have hot cross buns - not a great picture but not bad for home made buns with a big gap in the cooking process due to the car drive.
The afternoon was fairly uneventful - but we did enjoy the buns and also shared some time with a lovely young couple from YWAM. Trudi had gone off fishing so it was lovely fresh fish and home made chips for dinner! Due to the pressure and workload, Ron had Saturday completely off - as much as possible - he didn't even help at home! I spent some time checking through and working on the sermon for the next day. It was a pleasant enough day, probably similar in what we did to an Easter Saturday at home. Then, Easter Sunday morning - always plenty going on but no Easter eggs. Really nice that it isn't a focus but I do enjoy the chocolate eggs! Then, off to church. Church was at a lovely church that is the church of one of the mothers here and she had asked as they have women's Sunday on the last Sunday of the month if I would preach. I had agreed but then thought I would be off the hook since it was Easter Sunday, but no. The service was lovely! I really enjoyed it, there was lots of singing with different groups etc. The 'choir' all wore white and I thought what a great thing for Easter Sunday. There was a visiting lady who is a pastor and she spoke for a short while. The pastor seemed to be a lovely man. Ron and I got to sit up the very front in full view of the people for the whole service - great view - but not quite what I really like as far as being the centre of attention. We had arrived at 9.30 and I was introduced and started to speak at about 12.10. So, I preached.... Ron has put a short video of the sermon on facebook! It was my first sermon and I managed to talk for quite a while - Ron says 50 minutes - love Africa though, no problem how long you talk! The first photo is of the church - it was completely full by the time I got to talk - that's how it is here (and in Oz sometimes too!!).

Sorry about the side view of me preaching - Ron was in that position! They seemed to enjoy the sermon and could not believe it was my first. However, I am a teacher and a talker!
We then headed into town for a quick lunch and hoped to pick up some things for Monday. It needed to be quick and most shops etc were shut. Then, back to the village and I was quickly captured as there was a couple of grandmothers visiting and an older sister of some of the children. They take this opportunity to come and visit and share in Easter. It was lovely to see them. This is a picture just showing one of the Ja-jas (grandmothers) with one of her grandchildren. Life is hard for this grandmother - she 'told me her problem'. She is old and cannot work and has no land. The longer we are here the more we understand the significance of this - there is no old age pension! She is renting - very rudimentary accomodation let me say, in a place that I don't know anyone who would want to live! This costs her 20,000 shillings a month but if she cannot work where does the money come from for that. Her story can be retold so many times, if we do not work what do we live on? I find it such a privilege to have a relationship with these relatives and we believe it is very important for the children to keep ties with their past and their families. Then, we all hopped on the village bus. We went for a bit of a drive and then stopped at a park (well actually it was a golf course - and we needed to move as a golf ball nearly hit someone!) and had some fun.
Like all of us the children relish the opportunity to be in a different environment and had a lot of fun. Some as you can see learnt about doing somersaults! It was a really pleasant time. Then, it was home for a special dinner. We had turkey - not just frozen turkey, or even fresh turkey from the shops, this was turkey that had grown up at the village and then was killed in the morning ready for us to eat that night! Let me tell you, it was a beautiful meal: turkey served with matoke. It was a truly lovely day.
The next day, Anzac Day of course was Ron's birthday. We had another lovely day. Ron and I went into town and I bought him a nice shirt and trousers (so he can look 'smart'). We also had a lovely drink out - in Australia it is a problem - Ron doesn't drink coffee but here there is a plethora of lovely drinks, especially fruit juices. We bought supplies and then I spent a lot of the day cooking. We managed to catch up with some family via Skype and phone calls, so the whole day was very enjoyable. We had Robert, Rachel and Ivan to dinner. It was great, the little table had a big board on top to make it fit everyone. The oven was busy for most of the day, making fresh bread for lunch, bread sticks for garlic bread for tea, lasagne for tea and chocolate cake. It went well, the children helped in different ways - they are fascinated with our type of cooking. The evening went well, the food was good and conversation entertaining. All in all, a different but fun birthday with new friends. This is Robert and Rachel. Robert in particular has become a good friend and co-worker to Ron. Rachel was enjoying herself so much she didn't want to leave - it was good.

1 comment:

  1. Once again I would like to thanks you for the great blogs. Its so amazingly different to when I was there last so Im really looking forward to our upcoming trip. God bless.
    Stan van Leeuwen