We knew we were not in England in the week before Christmas when we found ourselves driving along with a timing belt warning light flashing at us, having had a puncture in the very pouring rain, and putting the spare tire on to find it was flat. We managed to find a bicycle pump and gave it some air, which I don’t think any of us really thought would get us home! We phoned Andy in town before we drove through the Reserve (where there isn’t a phone signal) to say that if we weren’t home before 4pm to send out a search party! Amisadai in particular, just slightly nervous at the thought of a dark night in there … Mama Masawa had given us plenty of interesting stories of fierce animals as we drove through last time, which now seemed more scary than interesting! And we only had 3 slices of banana bread and two bottles of water as rations. But even despite a broken bridge which we couldn’t get across, we found another way and made it home in time for tea!
We had a good time in Magozi. It is still very uncomfortably hot there, although they have had a little rain there now too, and so there are grassy patches appearing. Everyone is getting ready to plant in their shambas (farming land) with mahindi (corn) going in now and soon it will be time to plant the rice. One problem this time was the water which was so bad, we couldn’t even treat and filter it to drink. We used it for washing – easier if you didn’t look at it! Thankfully we had filtered a lot of water before we left last time and also brought some bottles from home.
|Would you drink this? (we didn't!)|
|Would you wash your face and dishes in this? (we did!)|
Seriously, this is fresh from the water point.
|Tim preaching in Magozi|
|Trying to cook in the rains!|
|But the sun came out later!|
After all the recent activities and comings and goings, I am so excited about this week before Christmas, I have no unpacking or packing to do and we have no school to do! I must say that in Magozi this time I felt rather selfish in my eagerness to get back and enjoy some indulgently relaxing time. We have borrowed some DVD’s and books and I am very excited about some free evenings ahead! I know it is important to rest and know very well that this time more than most is a time to celebrate and enjoy all God’s goodness, but when you are living in a village like Magozi and surrounded by people who really have nothing materially, it makes you look at Christmas differently. Maybe remembering that first Christmas when God came to lift up the humble. We visited a newborn baby this week, lying wrapped in khangas on the dirt floor of a mud hut. Her name is Lightness and she is the daughter of the stoves group secretary, Ezekiel; there is real Christmas joy! And so knowing that for these friends, Christmas will not be much more than ordinary day (although there is to be eating and dancing together after the church service!), it does feel selfish looking forward to the treats we are baking and wrapping up here. This is certainly the other side of Christmas.