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Friday, April 15, 2011

Just Joy

They begin brushing the carpets at 5 or 6 am.  There is no vacuum cleaner here.  They use handmade straw brooms, very small to hold lightly in on hand and they sweep sweep sweep sweep......every day.  It is a soft rhythmic sound creeping under my door to tell me this is life in Africa.

I wake to no water. Wanting to brush my teeth, but no water.  I improvise.  You don't need to know the details.  I brush with a soft rhythmic sweet void of water reminding me this is life in Africa.

I finally arise and come out of my room to one young girl assigned to be my personal hostess for 2 weeks.  She is intent on not allowing me to do anything for myself.  She locks my room to keep it safe and when I try to enter my locked room, she laughs at me.  Sweet soft rhythmic laughter reminding me this is life in Africa.

I step outdoors to see where everyone is.  They are washing dishes outside from the well water and the boys are washing their clothes, by hand, in a water pail with hand soap.  They do this with smiles and simplicity.  Rhythmic back and forth, in and out washing what precious little they can call their own.  This is life in Africa.

I take a journey in the blessed blue truck, our first gift to the orphanage director, to go into town to get an internet connection.  Wow, this is not life in Africa...but it is.  I ask to buy fruit for the children and I am quickly taken to a market.  But this is not any market.  This is a wild market outside of town in an industrial area where the poorest of this area live.  They hock fruit and potatoes in a farmers market type environment.  Massive amounts of fruits and vegetables.  Same goods, different prices.....they still have not learned marketing in these parts.  I feel like the only white person in the entire country and they all spot me at the same time and begin to call out "lady lady come buy my fruit".  I am accompanied by 2 well abled young men to guard and protect me.  They do this very well.  My sweet Boaz and Pastor Phillip....good company.  Mighty good company.  We choose apples, bananas, cucumbers and oranges.  Loads.  And I want to kick myself in the face for not having my camera.  What a site.  Rhythmic calls and hollars from the salesmen over their fruit.  This is life in Africa.

I return home and share the most lovely evening with Fatima and the kids.  They think I know everything based on all they ask me, and somehow the answers find me and confidently leak from my lips and I can see that the children treasure me.  What a treasure they are.  One lovely young lady followed me to my room to ask if we could talk.  And of course to me this is like chocolate.....divinely sweet.  My day could not be more full of joy.  It is pure.  Just joy.

30 children met me at the airport.  All crammed into a bus for 20, plus all the adults.  This is life in Africa.  There is much to do here, much I will see and get to photograph and share.  I will see the maize harvest and the chicken project.  There is much to rejoice and much still to pray about. School fees are due the 10th of May and we need to raise $4,000 more.  If you have ever considered sharing your pocket with these tender, beautiful, hopeful ones, now is a good time.


  1. Melissa,

    So glad that you made it safely!

    Thank You for the glimpse into life in Africa. (And beautifully written as usual.) Can't wait to hear more. I'm so glad that you were able to buy them some fruit!

  2. This post brought tears to my ears... you write so beautifully. You LIVE so beautifully!! God is using you in great ways Melissa. Enjoy your time there with you Zim family. We are anxiously awaiting your return to hear of all the good work you are doing in God's name! Love you!!

  3. Sounds like home to me :)

    So happy you were able to update, I have been praying for youu.

  4. I loved this story. It's a very different perspective than I've heard before. I love the sound of the sweeping. And the kids crammed in the bus.

  5. thanks to you all for reading and being a part of the journey. it is lovely.