(At the moment we have internet but it has been down again and that is why this blog hasn’t been posted until now. As you will see, for me real isolation means not having internet)
Our visitors are such a blessing. They cook for us, work in our little garden, build benches, encourage us, and play with our kids and we do not feel lonely. But since our internet just went out, I wonder how it will be once we are all by ourselves, in the middle of nowhere with no connection to the outside world.
But on the other hand, maybe we will be able to focus even more on our work here. There might be less distraction, like no news to look at, no emails to read and no coworkers to have meetings with… and then I will get desperate to see people, and hang out more with the Kovol people. Maybe. We will see…
Yesterday I was able to join some ladies on a trip to their garden while Lisi my friend and visitor was watching our kids (Philip helped too). I ran down the huge mountain with some young girls and kids. That was fun. On the way down, I learnt lots of ways to say ‘run’ =) This was sooo much faster than the other times when we were dragging/ carrying our kids down with us.
The garden itself was on a steep slope. One wrong step and you would just roll down. I had a bag and filled it with harvested corn. Suddenly my bag ripped and to my surprise neither the corn nor I went downhill =) Then, as we refilled my bag, I found out that I did not follow their instructions correctly. I did not know that there is a wrong way to harvest corn. I did not twist the corn enough, so we got too much extra skin on it, which took away from the space in my bag and it was extra weight to carry up the mountain. Well the instructions were in the Kovol language. I probably will remember that new word well now. On our way back, the rain surprised us, and we stopped at a garden house for some shelter.
A woman was preparing a new type of food that I have not seen being processed before. People who had been hiking were now hanging out inside and under the house, hiding from the rain. Others cooked or played with a rope game that their mothers have taught them as we waited for the rain to slow down. I thought, “This is such a different world; this is where most of their life happens; here I learn so much”. I just wish I could come out more often. But that is not as easy with two little kids and these steep mountains. Also, my kids have not quite acclimatized to the people here; they are still scared and prefer being carried by mum and dad. In addition we would have to bring more things with us, since we drink more water than Kovol people, we like to use diapers on our babies, we carry snacks for our kids…. They don’t eat ‘on time’ like we do.
As we kept going up later, the rain got us again and we ran into other houses. There was a little boy building a little toy house with wood pieces. He was even cutting nails out of wood.
At the end of the trip, we received sooo much corn. That is the way they do things here. When you help in the garden, you are given food. In fact I needed to be looked after more than I helped. Still, I think they enjoyed taking me out, as it was a change of things.
Well, thank you Lisi and Christian (and later also the CLA Consultant team). You were an enormous blessing to us all!!!