Captain’s Log-31December 2015-Barn Raising African Style

Many people working to make this all come together.  Great to be a part of the community.

Many people working together to make a home. Great to be a part of the community.

Some of our family friends and co-workers here in Nyankunde are Kazi and Leoni. They have been building their house, a lovely woven reed structure with a proper tin roof, for a while now and Tuesday it was time for the whole community to come together and “mud the house”. This is much like a barn-raising in the old days in the States. The church, community, friends and family all take part in the labor and festivity.

Jon and Josh in the background throwing mud.  Gabe is there but not in the picture.

Jon and Josh in the background throwing mud. Gabe is in there somewhere but not in the picture.

Gabe with other kids were having a great day.  full permission to be as muddy as they like!  What fun.

Here’s Gabe with other kids having a great day. Full permission to be as dirty as they like! FUN.

Kazi shows Cher some of what is goiong on inside the house.  It is the men's area for the most part as mud is flying.  Women bring a continual stream of water for keeping the mud at the right mixture.  They stop at the door.

Kazi explains to Cher what each different room inside the house will be used for. Men are doing the work in here for the most part as mud is flying freely. Women bring a continual stream of water for keeping the mud at the right mixture. They stop at the door. But my sister Lu was there to take pix.

When we arrived mid-morning the work was already well under way with hundreds of people of all ages involved. The noise level was high with laughter and loud conversations competing with the sounds of people working strenuously. Men and boys were mixing, stuffing and slinging mud into every crack and crevasse, both inside and out, of the house’s woven hollow walls and calling loudly, “Leta maji!” (Bring water!) Women carried water to be added to achieve the right mud consistency or chatted in large groups on the ground. There is never a shortage of children in an African village and no self-respecting child would pass up a day of sanctioned mud wallowing. Groups of kids hovered everywhere, sometimes working, sometimes watching or playing in the wide, low water tank made for the occasion. Our family came along with us and other MAFers took part as well. Sandals and flip flops were discarded as a hindrance because the mud just built up on the bottoms turning them into platform shoes. I suspect the whole throwing mud thing between us may not have been a normal part of the usual work day, but everybody sure laughed and joined in when we weren’t looking. There were great opportunities for mud wrestling but we let those slide by. The littlest MAF baby, Caleb Hensen, was very popular with the ladies and got passed around quite a bit.

Women bringing water for mixing mud and cleaning.

Women bringing buckets of water for mixing mud and cleaning.

Raeleigh working on the outside of the house and having a great time.

Raeleigh working on the outside of the house and having a great time.

The ladies are all enjoying little Caleb and he was passed around liberally.

The ladies all enjoyed little Caleb and he was passed around liberally.

Jon, Kazi and Lioni in front of the house at a tea break.  Wow, clean hands!

Jon, Kazi and Leoni in front of the house at a tea break. Wow, clean hands!

One of our MAF wives getting into the day and somehow managing not to get any mod on the flower in her hair or her sunglasses.  way to go Hayley Hensen.

One of our MAF wives getting into the day and somehow managing not to get any mud on the flower in her hair or her sunglasses. Way to go Hayley Hensen.  Guess who was throwing the mud.

A community happening always includes a real feast at the end of the day and we supplied a pig for our part. The women had prepared masses of beans, rice, sombe and lots of piri piri sauce in tremendous great pots over open fires. Amazingly the whole, huge house was completely mudded by 2 PM and everyone joined together for the meal. It was truly wonderful to be part of such a joyful community happening like this. It’s just another example of why we love living in the village.

Josh and Jon enjoy some wonderful good after the work is finished.

Josh and I enjoy some wonderful food after the work is finished.

Jipe, kazi's son, enjoying the feast at the end of the day. Pork, beans, rice and sombe.  Ah, how wonderful.

JP, Kazi’s son, enjoying the feast at the end of the day. Pork, beans, rice and sombe. Ah, how wonderful.

Kazi's family in front of their home at the end of a hard day of work.  It was great to  be a part of it.

Kazi’s happy family in front of their mudded home at the end of a long hard day of work. We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and it was great to be a part of the  community.

 

 

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