Friday, February 20, 2015

Things That Go Bump in the Night and Other Noises

As time goes on we realise that we are becoming deaf to many of the noises that used to remind us we were living in a different country. The scrape of the ox plow no longer brings us running to the window with a camera, and the rattle of the milkman's bicycle is just an everyday occurrence.  The roosters who used to startle us awake now only rouse us occasionally.   There have been times when their five o'clock calls are a bit much to take but we'd certainly take them over the all night discos in our neighbouring village.

Things have been a little quieter above our heads at night as well.  During the school break, 36 bats met their demise through the energetic efforts of someone who was willing to chase and club them to death in the space above our ceiling and under our roof.  Occasionally we still hear the odd thud which tells us that our persistent friends are back to their sleeping quarters. What we never tire of is the greetings from neighbours and strangers alike as we move about.  How ironic that anyone would need Walmart 'greeters;' here everyone just does it naturally.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


A feature of life that continues to overwhelm me is the quiet generosity of the people we live among.  Not long after the year began a lady who had helped us with laundry turned up on the doorstep with a bag of sweet potatoes from her garden.  "For you," she said.  "I remember how Uncle Dave loves sweet potatoes."  A few days later a neighbour brought bananas to the door and then a week or so ago our sponsor child turned up on the doorstep with a chicken.  Sent by his grandmother as a gesture of thankfulness I accepted this present with the knowledge of what it cost a family who are living with so little.

Our neighbours kindly housed and slaughtered the bird for us and then we gathered with them on their porch for a shared meal of chicken, matoke, g-nut sauce, rice and cabbage. 
Many laughs and stories were shared as I reflected how the generous spirit behind this gift had brought joy to many.