Today, we had an herbalist come and talk to us. He even took us on a walk around the compound to point out the points that he uses to help treat things such as malaria, snake bites and sexual problems. It’s really neat to see how there are natural things in nature that God has placed here on earth for us to use. I always think of drugs being made in laboratories somewhere. I hardly ever think that there are natural remedies already in nature. It was really cool to be able to listen to the herbalist speak about the plants. There is even a certain tree that only grows near underground natural water reserves so if they find that tree, they know that they can drill for a well near the sight of the tree.
Tonight, we watched a movie called “Sometimes in April” that is about the Rwandan genocide. The movie was so powerful. It was so hard to watch but I’m also thankful that we did watch it. It’s something that actually happened and I don’t think we should ever try to sugar coat a subject like that because then it takes away the power behind it. I think everyone needs to watch movies about the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust because they are true and we don’t need to undermine the extremeness of the horrible situations. I also think that hearing the true facts about horrible events like those can motivate people to never let it happen again. I hope to, one day, go to Rwanda for at least a couple of weeks and spread the gospel there so that they can heal from the genocide.
We went to a village called Kisibi today for church. Our cook, Ba Leonard, lives here and invited us to come to his church and have a meal at his house. Church started at 10 am and went until about 12:30. We of course got up and sang a couple of songs! The Zambians love it when we sing and I'm sure we butcher a lot of their songs but they just stare at us with big, gap-filled, grins on their faces! After the church service, we all filed out and shook everyone's hands (as is the custom here) and said "Mwabuka buti?" to everyone (which means "How have you risen?"). It really is wonderful that they take the time to greet each and every one of the people in the church every time they gather. We then went up to Ba Leonard's house and ate a traditional African meal that he prepared for us! It consisted of: chicken, nsima, FANTA (my drink of choice), rice, rape (a green vegetable similar to cabbage), rolls and this orange sauce. I have to admit, I'm not a complete nsima fan. Nsima is like a mashed potatoes/corn meal mixture that is really bland and thick. After lunch, we got to listen to some men play guitar and hear this instrument which was to resemble a drum/cymbal! It was so cool. They had made it out of round pieces of tin and then had wire attached to each one with bottle caps on the wire. And when they beat the tin, it made such a cool sound! All of the little kids started dancing around in a circle, so naturally we joined them!! Boy can those kids move! Some of us girls are trying to figure out how to move our hips like that and we just cant. Its amazing! It was so much fun to just dance around with these little kids and our guys even joined in, too! The songs that they sand about related to God and missionaries. The first song said "My God, we praise You because Your hand can heal." The second was somewhere along the lines of "sin is sin". The third, "God forgives us". The fourth was praising the NGO (non-government organization) World Vision for the work it has done in that area. The last two songs were played by this cute little old man who sang songs of poetry about being "born alone" or being an only child which is very rare here. The people of Zambia are so welcoming and want to make sure that you feel at home! I felt so guilty though because we all ate right in front of them and they didn’t eat while we were there. They all had to wait till they got home to eat or they brought their own food to the party/gathering.
We found out that this morning, another little baby died. Baby Tori, who had just been brought to Namwianga last week, died at 4 am. She had not been eating all day Sunday and was so weak. Dr. Black and Mrs. Bingham left during church last night to go put in a feeding tube in Tori and another little baby named Trey. There is so much hurt going around our little HIZ family. One of the girls had gotten so close to Tori in the week that she was here and is having a really hard time today. Another girl here was up at the haven all night feeding her through the tube every two hours and had to do CPR on her a couple of times before Tori finally gave up her fight.
I just cant comprehend the reason why these little babies have to die. It doesn’t make any sense to me and it never gets easier. Tori was the 6th baby since we have been here. Its just hard to think about the reason for their death. I mean, if they had been in America, they would have probably not died. I was talking to a girl today and we were saying how its harder for us to comprehend it here because we know what the medicine in America can do and its just not available. Little baby Tori needed Oxygen last night. The havens have 2 oxygen machines and one is broken and the other was up at the clinic. TIA. Resources here are so sparse that even if you do have a certain machine that you need in order to save a life, it may or may not work. Its hard to rationalize all of it. I think my group is getting to the point where we are just tired of all the deaths and we just want to be able to do something to save all the little babies. Hopefully, we will use this heartache that we are experiencing to be our driving force to go and change the world.