Monday, April 16, 2012

While It Lasts...

This is our blended Zimbabwean family...Farai and his wife, Mildred, are hosting us in their home and they really have just made us part of the family. They have three girls, Rumbizai who is 13, Precious who is 9 and Shamah who is 5, and one super cute little fat baby boy named Farai Jr. Our boys have nicknamed Farai as "Uncle Chips" as in "Fries" and Farai Jr. as "Small Fry". They love the nicknames and laugh everytime.
As you can tell, Easton and Farai clearly enjoy each others' company. Whenever Farai goes somewhere, whether to the shops or to the passport office, he takes Easton along. It's pretty funny, I'm not sure who enjoys the attention more, Easton from Farai or Farai from everyone in town wanting to know who this mzungu boy is that he's walking with.
We've had a long but great first week here. It involved our first real bouts of stomach problems that left Easton using a communal "toilet" and me throwing up publicly in a busy market parking lot. There's not a lot of "blending in" around here as a mzungu...I've seen maybe three or four other white people in the city...most of them older white South African men in their knee socks and short shorts, driving Land Rovers or equivalent big 4x4 trucks. I did meet a nice Mormon boy at the market last week, he was beside me in line so I asked where he was from. He said, "Utah." So, I replied, "Of course you are" in my best Jay from Modern Family impression. He thought that was hilarious. I'm funny in Zimbabwe. To other mzungus. Which means, I'm not really that funny. We've been quoting a lot of Scott Pilgrim too. Mostly at breakfast. "Bread makes you fat?!" as we each eat bread and butter for breakfast every morning. At most, on hungry days, we each eat two slices - which puts us far behind even our smallest Zimbabwean counterparts who easily put back 4 slices per person. The thinking is that you eat "while it lasts". When there's a meal in front of you...you eat. A lot. You don't know when you will eat again. So, fill up. It's a hard mindset to get into. Often, we get to about 4 pm and have to go searching for something to eat at a street market stall or something to get us to supper. 4 pm has become what our hosts call "Mzungu lunch". We can't seem to eat enough breakfast to make it till 6 or 7 pm. Add to that the fact that we're trailing two growing boys? Eesh. It seems someone is always saying they're hungry. And we don't even know what hungry is. Just wanted to leave you with some photos while the internet is up. Doing my best to use it "while it lasts"...here's some pics from our past week. Just to show that we're all well and healthy...we're putting on some serious lbs in a land with little food...but apparently, just as bread makes you fat, so does sadsa (pap, shima, mealie-meal...). Call it what you want, it's just filler. No real food value but it fills you up.
Sorry if this is disjointed, trying to make sensible sentences with the internet cutting in and out...not my strong suit. We're off to the Honde Valley tomorrow for three nights in a community there called Pimaii. Very rural and quite remote, we're looking forward to yet another change of scenery, it's all been so good, so far. We'll catch up with you in the next few days as we prepare for a long road trip to Zambia with 14 care workers for the gathering there on April 25-27th. Looking forward to seeing our Carly's and Mel again as well...and having our friend, Cathy Johnson, from Saskatoon joining us in Zambia!

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