Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Women’s Day!

Today was a fun day! All the women in the area were celebrated today. We all wore Kikwimbi’s (tradition African wear for women) and there was a BIG parade where groups of women marched down the streets singing and dancing. It was very cool! I wore a piece of fabric around my waist (it was the best I could do) and I got a lot of comments on my Kikwimbi! The women loved that I was there to support. I didn't march in the parade, but I followed it and took a lot of pictures. It was very cool.

This day was supposed to raise awareness for these women and their situations, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t do anything to benefit them. There is no one here to raise awareness to, really. Unless someone somewhere it got on the news? I don’t know. These women really do get the worst of it here, so I hope it made an impact somewhere in the world! They were all saying that the men today had to do all the cooking, cleaning, and taking care of kids! Of course, these men may not know how to do some of those things, so I hope that worked out for them!

We left this morning at about 9:30 with Kasavubu, a friend of Ed and Brenda’s who also works for Brenda. He knows a little bit of English, so we got along alright. We walked all the way downtown, which is a fifteen minute drive. So it took us a long time to get down there. We would have taken a taxi, but the roads were blocked off for this event. That was a LONG walk, without sunscreen. Whoops. Also, I wore a t-shirt. So I have some nice white shoulders and red arms. Now I look like a typical muzungo (whitey).

A few random things:

--We got a kitten! He is awfully cute, but awfully noisy. He (or she) cries and cries and cries. Just a little baby. We think he (or she) is too little to be away from Mama. But we love him. Or her. We named it Hershey, because it is a HE or SHE. Hershey (get it?!). We’ll figure it out.  Hershey is currently sleeping in my lap.

--I went to a choir rehearsal on Saturday. I’m going to sing with their choir some Sunday, and hopefully Taylor will play drums.  I have to learn a LONG song in Swahili, but it’s really pretty. Also, I have to dance with the choir. I’m stoked.

--Taylor is currently sitting on the wall next to the front gate talking to the Congolese kids on the other side. This is part of his routine every night. He learns Swahili from them and they learn English from him. The other night he was bored and wanted a piece of wood to carve. He kept saying to the kids “I need a piece of wood!”  They eventually started copying what he was saying, and he made it into a chant. “I need a piece of wood, I need a piece of wood, HI HO THE DARIO, I need a piece of wood!” We heard them chanting it next door later that night. They love him.

--Taylor also got another piece of bamboo to make another digeridoo.  Or to teach someone how to make it. I’m unsure. It was quite the event getting it, too. We were walking back from Tracy’s Heart and we stopped at some guy’s house and asked if we could chop one down. Well, Kasavubu asked. We stood and watched. Then Taylor got in there to show him which one he wanted and tried to help get it. At this point, people were gathering in the streets to see what the muzungos were up to. When Taylor stepped on a bench to grab the bamboo to help, he lost his balance and completely wiped out! The bench was on some not so stable ground and he just biffed it! The locals were laughing at him a lot. Clumsy muzungo.  It was quite graceful, really! He sort of caught himself. He now has a nice scrape on the side of his leg, and he said it is going to bruise quite a bit. Poor Taylor. :)

--There is an English speaking Bible study we are starting to attend on Sunday nights. It’s refreshing to meet other people who actually understand us. Friday night Taylor and I get to hang out with some of the people we met. There was talk of a ping pong tournament. It should be a good time!
--Taylor is now teaching the Africans to beat box.

That’s all for now. I’ll write again soon!

(The picture below is taken from the back porch on a rainy day. The path leads to the backyard, where there's a better view of the lake.)

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