Sunday, April 5, 2009

Karen wrote this:

Waking up to birds singing in a pink sky on Palm Sunday in Tanzania is a wonderful thing.  As we often say, "We have Africa out each window."  Lucky us!  I first tidy up the living room and the dining room.  Dishes from our snacks and cokes we had the night before head to the kitchen.  I pull out the trash bin and the compost bucket from behind the red-checked curtain.  Pulling down the table to refill the food cabinet  shelves, I am reminded of my Grandmother Carter and her covered wagon.  She had a pull down table with drop legs like this one on the back of her covered wagon.  I had this made with her in mind. I thank God for my table.  Others here have cardboard boxes for storage and no table to prepare food. They lean over a rock or stove outside.
First, placing the dirty dishes on the table, I then get two wash tubs and head to the bathroom.  I collect the warm water and return to the kitchen.    If it has rained the night before, our neighbors will have rain water and not have to go so far and carry the bucket on their head to begin their day. I thank the Lord that I do not have to go to the stream, or lake, or well like most of the people here must do each morning.
I put dish soap in one tub and water and bleach in the other.  Hoping not to get bleach on my nightgown, I wash each dish and rinse it in the bleach water. The water is just warm today because we have had no real electricity as I call it when the generator is on, and it has been on for two days now.  Many things must be turned off when we use our generator.  I boil some water to add to the tubs.  I am so blessed to be able to clean my dishes so we will not get sick.
When the dishes are washed, rinsed, and dried, I can begin breakfast.  I like to do a thing I called "Christmas Breakfast"  when I lived in the U.S.  Here I call it Sunday Breakfast.  It is buttered bread, eggs, crumbled, cooked bacon and cheese.  I put it in my one pyrex dish and proceed to light the propane oven.  I thank the Lord that I have a propane oven and stove. Most people must use charcoal so they do not eat until their one meal about 3:00 P.M. or some wait until 7:00 P.M. for their one meal. I thank the Lord that I can have three meals while I live here among the poorest in Africa.
I call my son and husband to breakfast,  "Karibu Chakula!" (welcome to food).  We say a prayer and eat the nice meal at a set, clean table.  We visit and enjoy it all knowing others are hungry all around us.  We hear the children playing as if they are not hungry.  We see beautifully dressed women walking by with water on their heads and smiles on their faces saying good morning to us. With some guilt, we are so thankful we have food and so sad others do not.
Still I hear happy children playing and others getting ready for Palm Sunday.

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