My hostess for the weekend - cooking

My hostess for the weekend - cooking

This past weekend transported me to such a different time and place I hardly know where to begin telling you about it. I felt as though I was walking through the pages of the Old Testament. The language of the Bible is of pastoral people, of cattle, sheep, of people with no possessions, except perhaps their chickens, cows or goats.

Here is a list of the things a woman there would have in her home: An animal skin to sleep on, a plastic bucket to gather water, a plastic pan to wash clothes and dishes, a cooking pot, something to store rice or corn maze in, a stump carved in such a way she can pound the corn into a flour, something to wear every day, and another Kanga to wear to Church on Sunday, or to a wedding, funeral or to town.   She would also have a tiny, 3 legged stool to sit on when she cooks at her fire. Most of the houses have no furniture at all, I never saw a mirror, there was no electricity and no plumbing. This was BCE living.

I was at a disadvantage because I couldn’t speak Kiswahili, so I could not understand what the women were talking about as they cooked by the fire, but it was mostly of their lives, the children, their men, their animals and the crops.

I wondered if I could live there, yes, but only as an American who would be running around trying to “organize” things, change the “backward” way they dealt with water, make things more efficient. Then I thought, would I have the energy?

The women here wake at 5:00 a.m. go to fetch water – which can be a three hour process. During the season they farm for nine hours a day, then cook for their families. This time of year, they don’t have any crops (drought), so they walk nine miles to buy tomatoes, that takes them three hours, one hour bargaining, three to walk back. Then they cook. Perhaps there would be no energy for innovation. But, I couldn’t help but think that the necessity of an easier life would provide some sort of instinctual push towards improving the ways things are done.

We have been without internet for two days, and electricity one, so have to catch up on other things. There will be more thoughts on this weekend in the future, I have so very much to digest.  Click here to see more pictures from the trip.

OH, and really big news!! The Wyoming diocese has obtained a grant for $50,000. for the work here in Tanzania. Asante Sana to Tom Davenport and the Church of St. Andrews in the Pines as well as St. John the Baptist in big Piney. The congregations in both of these churches combined is under 50 people!!