Sunday, August 31, 2008

Goat slaying 101

I bet you were expecting a horrible picture! No worries. On this particular day, I was very busy. I had to go to the market with the team, we picked up a goat, headed to the village, drop people off for ministry training, drive to the house where we were having lunch, help kill a goat (yes, you have it correct), then we headed to the market to buy produce, and we ate the goat for lunch (it was quite tasty), then lastly after all the meetings I got this great picture with these boys. You can't see, but I was blessed with goat blood splattered on my shirt. I do have video of the goat, but I hear some people would prefer not to see it. If you do want to see pictures of me killing the goat, you can email and I will send you a pic. To make this story even cooler, we saved the skin so that our friend Phillip can make a drum from the skin. I'm taking it to him tomorrow. Awesome, very awesome!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


A few Saturdays ago we had the opportunity of going to our first engagement and taking the two volunteer teams with us. So there was over 20 white people at this party. The two soon to be married were Lewis and Thokozani. Lewis was our language teacher and also one of the interpreters for our group. Here an engagement is like a wedding. When they get engaged, they have to get divorced to end the relationship. So… what is fun about this party you ask??? There are a few things! The groom comes out with another man with their faces covered and the uncle has to pick which one it is. Then the groom holds a basket and the DJ has everyone come and give the groom money. If you have brown hair come give money. If you are pastor, come give money. If your are an mzungu (white) come give money. Then, the bride comes out with 2 other ladies with their faces covered and you have to guess which one is the bride. The aunt has to pay to pick the right one and if she picks the wrong one, she pays more. What was tricky, was the bride was not even in the first group of 3 girls, she ended up being in the second group. So we gave money lots of times! It was so much fun!!! And some of the guys broke out into some great dances including the worm. I got a lot of ideas for my friends and when they get married.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Birthdays.. birthdays

We have been celebrating Johanna’s birthday throughout the month of August. You should never only have one party!! At the new school that we are teaching at the head mistress said that she wanted to meet with both of us. I thought… I sure hope that after only a week of teaching here that I am not in trouble. So we sit down in the conference room and the other two ladies sit down next to Mrs. Beatrice and then they break into Happy Birthday. It was great. Surprised us both. And they got her the wood carving of Malawi. On top of having cake now at least 3 times, we are planning a trip to the lake with the ladies and one more dinner to celebrate Johanna turning a ¼ of a century. Whoo hoo for birthdays!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gule Wamkulu

From what I have learned the Gule wankulu consists of a secret society based on animism. Most of the costumes represent animals. These men are usually tribal dancers. They often are used for entertainment, such as weddings or celebrations. When a new chief comes to a village they are hired to dance. Their meetings are taken place in graveyards. This is where they initiate new people and where they all get dressed and prepared for meetings. They almost always have a group of women following them. They dress as different characters or different animals. When they put on the costume they are no longer human, they are the type of animal they are wearing. One of the pictures I have taken looks like the men are wearing my grandma's aprons. Quite amuzing. Although most of them are just for entertainment, some are also used to call spirits. We have seen some while driving and instead of wanting to laugh, I have felt a need to pray. They made me feel very uncomfortable. Some like the ones in the aprons.. we just laugh at and try to figure out what kind of animal they are trying to be. What do you think these men are???

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!!!! (and Johanna!)

On Thursday night we had a girls night. We had great food and we watched Hairspray. I made this lovely sign for my mom and then since we had just watched the movie, we felt like there needed to be some great poses. We took two and this one was my favorite!! Mom, I do love you and miss those great long phone calls. The bottom of the sign says "love you and miss you." My supervisor is in pink, that is joviel Janet. Then we have the adorable Anna Marie on the end in the striped shirt, Joyful Johanna is next to Anna Marie, then there is the lovely Lisa in blue, who happens to be Anna's mom. And then there is Spontaneous Sam in black and her mom Marvelous Mary on the other end. Just fabulous ladies!! just fabulous!! And happy birthday roomie!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Red Light, Green light (Aka:stop, go)

After a week in the village, the last day we spent the afternoon playing with the ladies and their children. While many of the men were setting up for the Jesus film I was having a blast. They taught me a few great games where there was a lot of running, dancing and laughing!!! After many of their games they annouced that they wanted us to teach them some games. This would be red light, green light. Here I am trying to show the ladies to run when the leaders back was turned. It was quite entertaining because I met some of the most competitive women that day. These ladies kicked some tail on duck, duck, goose. We renamed it duck, duck, chicken because they didn’t have a word for goose. Duck is “dnima,” so you say “ndima, ndima, ….koo koo. Man those ladies can run and the children, but most of the ladies were carrying their children on their backs and still running with all their might!! I lost a few calories this day!!!!