15 September 2011

Somethings Do Translate

Apart from 'sense of humor', I'm not sure there's anything more culturally distinct than 'food.'  Think about what happens to a simple clucking bird when thrown into various cultural contexts: Kung Pao . . . Jerk . . . Coq au Vin . . .  KFC.

But this post has nothing to do with food.  Except that I spent the evening with two girls I work with, making a cake.

They asked me if I would teach them how . . . since most folks arounds these parts don't have stoves let alone make cakes.  One of the tricks is making sure it's a recipe that includes only ingredients that are 'locally' available (which here spans at least a seven hour drive, as long as the bus doesn't break down).  But I'm not talking about cake tonight.

The best part of teaching these girls how to bake is that it leaves us with at least 40 minutes of down-time to just sit, be, and talk.  (Oh my goodness . . . I think someone is killing a donkey in the field behind my house . . . but it's 10:32pm . . . so maybe it's giving birth . . . regardless, it's LOUD and it sounds like it's in my living room!  WHAT IN THE WORLD, first cake, now wailing donkeys . . . GET TO THE POINT ALREADY, DEB.!!!)

Both of the girls that came tonight, E. & G., have moved to Galmi since I arrived.  E. is from Maradi, G. is Benioise but did her studies in Niamey.  I asked them how they liked living in Galmi.  Clearly, I'm not the only one going through culture shock.

G. couldn't even answer.  Her eyes filled with tears and she put her head down.  E. answered for them both: It's hard to live so far from family, it's hard to come from a big city to a place like Galmi, it's hard to  live so closely with the people you work with . . . but I believe this is where God wants me to be, so I'm here.

I looked my new friends in the eyes and assured them that I completely understood. 


Mamastouff said...

God provides once again...He is Faithful!!

Shal said...

Praise Him for kindred spirits!

Bobnrobn said...

This is how I felt when I left NY for Va and then Va for Fl!!!   However, I do not have to travel 7 hours for ingredients....I'm now down to a 10 minute ride by golf cart!!!  Gee, do you think solar-powered golf carts could be in the future for Galmi???

Linda Messina said...

Dear Deb, I just read some of your blog .  We are so proud of you.  Your are truly doing God's work.  Be safe and know you are not alone.  I know your family is with you.  I (Linda) also know it can be discouraging especially since I  worked with special children my whole career.   You can't help everyone but I know you will try.  Remember to take time for yourself.  Godspeed and love.