Friday, November 7, 2008

getting crafty

I’m sure the burning question has been on your mind since my last update. Did she do it? Did she eat a caterpillar? Wait no longer my friends for I have done it!


My friend Agness brought a bag of caterpillars to the Mango Tree today, which had been “fried” and cooked in salt. Just looking at those ugly creatures had me regretting the decision to eat it. It took me about 5 minutes to work up the nerve to finally put that thing in my mouth. There really are no words to describe the taste and texture of a caterpillar. All I can say is that it was not pleasant and took a long time to go down. I gave my friends a good laugh as they watched my crazy facial expressions during the whole thing. And yes, I captured it on video. The quality is not good as a friend of mine, who had no idea what she was doing, filmed it but it captured the moment and that’s all that matters. I’ll see if I can upload it here, but if not I’ll definitely do it once I’m home in a couple weeks.

Yikes! A couple weeks! I can’t believe how quickly my time is going by here. I’m excited to get home to my friends and family and my comfortable bed but I am so sad to leave. I remember hearing someone talk once about the stages of culture shock and I think I’ve gone through them all. The last one I recall is where you realize how much you love where you are and you don’t want to leave. Not everyone reaches this stage, obviously, but I definitely have. The last week or so I just find myself looking around and taking everything in and realizing how much I do love it here. Sure, I have my moments when the people drive me nuts but something about this place gives me a feeling of belonging… a feeling of peace… a feeling of being home.

I’m so excited about the future possibilities here and the things we can help the people with. This week at the Mango Tree we started making some of our own crafts to sell. One of the things Katie, the founder, wanted to see at the Mango Tree was a place to sell crafts made by the local people. Unfortunately there hasn’t been much of that going on and lately we’ve had people stopping to buy them only to find nothing there. Finally I told them, “That’s it! We’re going to figure out a way to make our own crafts!” I’d seen an organization in Lusaka make picture frames out of banana tree bark and figured we could try. Try we did and they turned out awesome! We soak the bark and cut it into strips, which we twist or braid. After letting them dry in the sun we glue them to cardboard picture frames we make. It’s been so much fun being crafty and working with the ladies at the Mango Tree on it. I meant to take a picture and totally forgot so I’ll have to include it in my next update.

The other thing I want to do is teach them how to make beads out of clay. About 5k away from the village you can find clay soil. So I’m thinking if we get some of that soil I can show them how to make beads with the clay and then we can bake them. Next time I come I can bring supplies and tools to make earrings and necklaces. It could be really good! So that’s what we’re going to try to work on next week. I’m excited!

In my last update I mentioned that we haven’t gotten much rain and that night we got a torrential downpour that lasted for hours. I guess I spoke too soon! Since then it’s rained each night. It’s nice because the rain brings a cool breeze with it that is so refreshing after a hot day in the sun. One of my favorite things about being here is that you get to spend so much time outside. At home there are so many things to distract you and keep you indoors, but not here! It’s so fun to sit outside and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.

This is getting long so I should let you all go. Thanks again for reading! I hope you’ve been enjoying my updates. I enjoy writing them and giving you a glimpse into “Zam-life.”

I pray that God would continue to shower you with His love and goodness this week. You are precious to the Father and to me.

Lots of love from Zambia…

5 comments:

Christina said...

Well, I think it's time we signed you up for fear factor! I'm just kidding...can't wait to see all the pictures. Love you!

Reta said...

Ha! Christina took the words out of my mouth with the "Fear Factor" comment! :-) We miss you girl, but feel your heart for Zambia! May God's grace and peace be poured out as you prepare to head back to the U.S. and all the seeds that have been sown be fruitful in God's kingdom! AMEN! Can't wait to see you after we get back from vacation over Thanksgiving! XOXO

Nathanael said...

Suse,
It's been such a blessing to be able to keep up with your time in Zambia.
Your musings have been such an encouragment.

Looking forward to seeing you and hearing more about your time there.

Shalom, dear sister.

Ruth Witmer said...

You did it! You are truly a missionary now that you can eat the crunchy crustacians from the area. Go girl! You are better than your Momma, I don't know if I could've done it. But maybe after 3 months just getting to eat something different, maybe I would. haha
I love you Babe
Mom

Lisa said...

I want to see one of these banana leaf picture frames...

So glad you got to reach that last wonderful stage of culture shock!

love you - praying for you
-Lisa