Last week Beth and I set out to get some yetengi outfits made for us before the seamstress got too busy with her fields, so we duly set off with some sketchy directions to Rachel’s house, the Lunda word for seamstress, our yetengi and notions, and high hopes. After a minor detour and second attempt which involved asking directions, we managed to find Rachel’s house and start the process of being measured. Now, neither Beth nor I are what could be termed ‘slim,’ so much to our chagrin we were told a couple of times that we are just too fat. Now, in Zambian culture this is a compliment—if you are fat, than you are obviously rich enough to eat well! Also, Rachel was sadly simply stating the obvious. After the measurements were written down, Rachel told us to return in four days and the outfits would be done. We duly returned on the appointed day to find Beth’s outfit finished, my skirt halfway done, and the shirts for Beth’s nephew’s cut out. There were some slight alterations made to Beth’s top and then we went our way with the promise of the rest of the items being done the following day.
All Saturday I kept an eye out for Rachel, but she didn’t appear. Then, Sunday morning, I had just gotten up and was in the process of starting to get ready for church when I heard Ceili barking and voices coming up my walk. After throwing on my kimono I opened the door to see the watchman and Rachel. She had walked all the way in from Ikelenge to bring my outfit! I tried it on, and while the skirt fit nicely, the top wouldn’t zip all the way down. Despite having the grim number of inches around my hips, Rachel apparently didn’t take that enough into account! I was able to wear my skirt to church that day, and then on Monday my top arrived via Rachel’s son Tony who works here. Some clever modifications made the top now fit nicely, so I have a very cool Zambian looking outfit to take home with me.
Two of our staff members were in Canada this holiday and have just recently returned, so Beth and I had them over for a nice supper and ‘girl night’ on our last night of freedom. Bethany brought me back an unexpected treat from Canada—something you can not get over here and which I have missed. It’s funny how when you’re out here, it’s the little things that you miss the most—things that just aren’t manufactured in SA or don’t make it out on the containers. What did Bethany bring me? A bottle of Dr. Pepper—the soft drink that makes the south run. I was so tickled that she could cart that all the way from Canada just to bring me a taste of home. Now I just need to find a suitably solemn occasion to enjoy it!
The kids are all back, and already there is a lot more noise on station! The long holiday is over, and it’s time to plunge back into our busy schedule. I’m looking forward to being in the classroom again, and participating in that most awesome calling—to share Jesus with children. So begins another adventure at our little school in the bush!