Thursday, February 17, 2011

So...what's new?

Well, not a lot honestly but maybe I can update you on the little things that make our days here in a small village 50km from Congo at the feet of the Rwenzori.

Let me introduce you to Sarah:
Chris found Sarah just before we left for our holiday in November.
She seemed very interested and after a couple of studies with her, my hopes to have a daughter were rocketing sky high...
She was always prepared, she studied the Appendix on 1914 and explained it to me (better than how I explained it to her, I assure you). She's 16, she has a small boy, Dalvin, meaning that she lost a year in school (here you can't go to school if you're pregnant) but she reads amazingly well and she has the capacity to reason (which is really something considering that in school here they don't teach you to reason). The mother always attended the study and followed with her own book, but honestly speaking I was concentrating on Sarah as after a couple of studies, she started coming to the Kingdom Hall regularly while the mother didn't want even to think about leaving her church. So, then the time for me to go in holiday came and I left Sarah to continue the study with Joy (my African twin pioneer sister).
When I come back Joy tells me that the mother one day, during one study, started arguing regarding the thing we teach saying that they're very confusing and very different from any other religion. Joy, tried to explain that the teachings are coming directly from the Bible as she saw during all the studies she attended and then clearly said "If you're so confused, there is no point in you attending the study. Let us continue studying in peace with Sarah". Now this could seem to you a bit harsh, but it's quite common here (and Joy in particular doesn't like to waist time) to be straight forward with someone. The reaction of the mother? She started attending every single study and getting serious in learning the truth. After a while she recognized that what we teach is the truth and she stopped going to her church. All this happened while I was away!!!
So, now, she has her own personal study and Sarah studies on Sunday after the meeting (which she attends regularly). A couple of weeks ago though, I lost any hope as after the study she told me that the mother decided to send her to boarding school (you live at school basically, they don't allow you out even on a Sunday and you're forced to attend their church). She obviously didn't want to go as she has a child and she wanted to continue the study and coming to the meetings.
So after praying together we talked to the mother who didn't agree or disagree at that moment but eventually thought about it  as the next time I saw Sarah (with a 54 teeth smile on her face), she told me the mother agreed to send her to a normal school. So I thanked Jehovah and my hope raised again.
Well, the other day, after the Sunday meeting it comes out that the decision of sending her to boarding school was because one aunt offered to pay for her school fees and the mother, being a poor widow, couldn't say no to such an offer. But after 3 days (and many many prayers), this aunt decided that she didn't have the money to give, but she offered half the fees for a normal school. (Jehovah works in ways we don't expect sometimes).
Now all it was left to Sarah to do was to find the other half of the fees and she could start her last year of school (without it here you can't find a job). Last Sunday, after many many MANY prayers, I had decided to help her with the other half as she promised that if she started school, she would attend the Saturday (Thursday) meeting as she want to become a publisher and get baptized (my heart stopped for a second when she said so, but then I realized that many people say that and don't pursue it). I didn't even have the time to take the money out of my pocket that she said "Someone came around and gave me the other half so I'll be going to school next week". Again, Jehovah keeps on working behind the stage don't you think?
Yesterday evening she sent me a message on my phone saying that she got a really nice school near her home and that the mother is expecting me for the study tomorrow morning. So I'll be updating you on Sunday to tell you if she's keeping her promise to attend Saturdays.

Now something that I'm sure will make you laugh:
Chris was in the field the other day and there there was this beggar boy (unfortunately he has mental problems) we know who is always around town. So this boy goes up to Chris and start asking for money as Chris is talking to one of the shop keeper inside the market. So Chris ignores him (generally he goes away after a couple of minutes) but the boy continues pestering him so Chris greets the shop keeper and walks off. Suddenly Chris feels a kick up his bottom!!! He turns around and the boy, still there with his hand out, is telling him off (more growling than talking) because Chris wouldn't give him anything.
Chris, feeling sorry for him, doesn't do anything and while he turns around to leave, the shop keeper comes out (a lady) running towards the boy with a massive courgette (or marrow, don't know really) and starts beating him up, while the boy starts punching her in the face and runs away so she chases him down the market with a stick. The whole market was laughing! And even Chris couldn't do anything but burst in laugh.

So that was a "change" for the day!

And this is it! As for now...

Ciao Ciao

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Call to all women...

To all the members of the female "weaker" gender... listen up! The Bible refers to us as the weaker vessels...the faithful and discreet slave reminds often brothers to remember that we have different kind of emotional needs...
This is what every woman in Africa has to go through when she is in the field and nature is calling
OK, I'll admit this is the worse I've ever seen, but still...I had to go... TWICE!!! In case you're wondering, the "toilet" is actually the gap between the boards and the leaves is the toilet paper. 
We all very well know how men go for first call (nature call not first call in the field), so although challenging, they don't have it as bad as us women...WE HAVE TO SQUAT/CROUCH to go for first call. 
Our...everything...goes closer to the "toilet", including our nose and mouth...which by the way you have to keep open to be able to breath or a foul/revolting/disgusting/awful/horrid/outrageous/vile etc etc etc smell will permeate your nose and force you to gag and, if you're not strong (and quick) enough, puke!

Now I know many men who rather than using this "toilet" would turn to mother nature (the next bush available)...but for us we can't turn to mother nature because in Africa, everywhere you go, there is a small house or hut and people working in the nearby field. 
So we HAVE to use these "toilets" (that sometimes even local sister won't use being so horrible).



By the way, the board on the far right was not secured into the soil...I nearly went into the "ditch/toilet" with my whole leg...