Thursday, October 23, 2008

International Cuisine

Eating away from home is always “interesting”, to say the least.  We have eaten in some of the finest establishments that can be found, and we have eaten what was cooked by the side of the road.  Fredna has even tried mouse-ka-bobs!  Really!!

We had lunch today in a newly-opened Chinese restaurant close to our house.  “Interesting” began when we walked into the spacious room that had been converted to a dining room from an old, large house.  The ceilings were very high, the floors were tile, and it seemed there was nothing between the two to catch sound.  The noise from the crowd that had gathered for lunch was almost deafening. 

“Interesting” kicked up a notch when they brought us one menu.  There were more, but I suppose they felt we could share the one - even though Fredna and I were sitting across from each other at a large table.  The waiter did bring me a separate menu when I asked for it.  The menu was written in  Chinese, but it did have the translation written below each menu item.  One line said, "The paint of a chicken".  Another said, "Warm balls of fish eyes, drain the grease".  Line after line was written as if someone was translating Chinese to English with a kindergarten education.  “Interesting” reached a whole new level when we asked the waiter to describe a certain item.  Now, you must understand that the waiter was Malawian with minimal English skills.  When he was unable to express himself properly, or maybe he just didn't know what the food item was, he called a Chinese person over to help out.  The Chinese person didn't speak Chichewa, and his English was nowhere near the level of the waiter.  But he did try to explain what we were interested in.  The funniest part was when they both were trying to make the other understand what they were saying.  In the midst of all this, I asked if they had fried green tomatoes.  Oh boy! 

After the adventure of this meal I can truly say that I am ready to stay home for a while and enjoy leftovers!  For those of you who know me, you know that I don't like leftovers.

So, what's for supper, Fredna? 

Leftover pizza - African style! 

Oh boy! (said in Hee Haw fashion!)  By the way, can anyone tell me what organ with two large vessels lies just under the skin of a chicken?  Maybe they just said it was a chicken!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tragedy - on the road!

A couple of days ago I posted a story about how dangerous it is to drive in Malawi.  This truth was brought home to us in a tragic way yesterday.  We received word that the wife of a church elder was killed in a traffic accident on Sunday evening.  This couple are members of one of the churches in Nkhotakota, where we are constructing two new churches. 

It seems that the wife was in Blantyre, the same city we were in on Sunday afternoon, for the weekend "marking exams".  Both she and her husband are school teachers in Nkhotakota.  She was traveling home on Sunday afternoon in a minibus.  The minibus pulled out to pass a truck and was struck head-on by another vehicle.  Four individuals instantly lost their lives - she was one of the four.  Catherine leaves behind a husband and four small children.

If you thought this story could not be any more tragic... it is.  Catherine's funeral was held on Tuesday in their home district and village.  Thirty minutes after the service the husband learned that one of his brothers, who was traveling to Blantyre on Sunday afternoon, was a passenger in the "other" vehicle of this accident.  He was also one of the four who lost their lives.  It would be difficult for me to explain to you why it took so long for the information of victims to be delivered.  Believe me, sometimes it just does!

Please pray for this family: Bosco Manyoni and his children, Miracle, Naomi, Promise, and Omega. 

We all desperately feel their tragedy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

On The Road

This weekend we traveled to the southern part of the country to minister in a church in Luchenza.  Luchenza is a trading center close to Mt. Mulanji.  We had a wonderful time in Luchenza.  The people were great, and the church was packed out.  I love preaching in Africa!


Luchenza Collage

Traveling in Malawi is somewhat of an experience - in many different ways!  First of all traveling is somewhat exhausting because you can NEVER just relax and drive because there are so many people walking, and riding bicycles on the road that it is really dangerous.  If this were not bad enough, there is always the broken-down vehicle sitting in the road.  Yes, sitting in the road, not off to the side.  It could be anything from a very tiny pick-up to a larger-than-life 18-wheeler or bus.


Sometimes, when there is a breakdown, they will put a warning out that lets you know something is going on up ahead - a tree limb!  No reflectors, no triangles, just a branch from a tree.  But wait, it might not indicate that something is broken down ahead.  It could mean that there is a funeral taking place on that side of the road, or it could mean that the turn-off for a wedding is up ahead.  It could just mean that there is a tree limb in the road.


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The roads here are about like old farm-to-market roads in the States - or at least in Texas, where I grew up.  There is NO shoulder and just barely enough room for two medium-sized vehicles.  It can get  very interesting when you are meeting a Greyhound-sized bus or truck, especially when there is someone on a bicycle at that exact meeting place.  Sometimes you just hold your breath but keep your eyes open!  It truly is VERY dangerous.


No matter how dangerous driving is, we love traveling in this country.  So we grab another cup of coffee and the road map and plan another trip.