Re: Thanksgiving in Malawi
- 15 Jan 2000
Dear ujeni folks,
I finally have gotten through most of the e-mail of the past four months.
The beautiful letter from the Webers reminded me of many wonderful holidays
spent someplace other than the traditional homestead.
I don't recall being especially homesick during 6 years of Africa, or the
Philippines, or Kentucky, or India. But I sure miss Malawi and all of you.
I do not know exactly why. Maybe because of the feeling of doing
something worthwhile, or being among people doing something worthwhile.
Not that what I am doing now is not worthwhile, the feeling is not the
same. Maybe it was the adventure, the cross-cultural flair, the passion,
or the sense of being more alive. Anyway, now I am "homesick" for
I have enjoyed the name game. Thanks to the Wises. I suppose we will
learn of your choice in due time.
With our first two children, Dolly and I came up with names that included a
middle name representative of the language of our important experiences.
Joshua Michael has a special name, but it may seem ordinary because it is
used frequently. For its special meaning read the Urantia Book.
My first daughter is Sarina Shanti, meaning, to me: Serene Peace, shanti
being the Sanskrit word for Peace.
Our next daughter is Carmelina Mahal, meaning "Love, God's fruitful field."
Mahal, being the Tagalog word for love.
Our youngest daughter, Evangelina May, is "God's maiden messenger." May
being the English name for maiden.
Good luck to you Rand and Deb, may you choose "wisely." Congratulations,
And John Patten: You have caused us to do something I would probably never
have done. I had planned to live my entire life without watching Hollywood
Squares and other such "entertainment." You changed that. See what we
will do for those whom we care. Good performance.
From: Weber <weber@...>
Subject: [ujeni] Thanksgiving in Malawi
Date: Wednesday, 24 November, 1999 06:11 PM
HAPPY THANKSGIVING ONE AND ALL
Our first Thanksgiving Day in Malawi was a low point for me. I was so
homesick. I worked, of course. We planned a chicken picnic for Saturday
but being the rainy season guess what it did? On Sunday it cleared and we
headed for a nearby reservoir with picnic stuff but not even chicken
because it was finished in every store I tried. (yes I know, we should have
bought a live one from the market but it would probably still be walking
around our Blantyre yard if we had...we are still wondering what American
ate the turkey that was mysteriously gone from its favorite gobbling spot,
the roof of our neighbors' doghouse) On our way to the lake we walked
through a cool forest reserve of blue gum, nice in the muggy heat of
"summer". A mother, walking in front of us, untied her little girl and
swung her down from her back. She was all dressed up in a pretty puffy
little dress that bounced when she walked the funny bowl legged, tentative
walk of one just learning. When we got to the reservoir women were washing
clothes in the inlet creek and men and boys were swimming. A flame tree
was in brilliant full bloom alone at the end of the reservoir. We sat
under a nice old willow and ate while a boy with a twig herded some very
nonchalant brahma type cattle on the other bank and many busy people walked
by us on the path. A lorry and two pickups drove up filled with singing
people in Sunday clothes. They got out, walked along the dam led by a
dignified older man with a folded yellow-red-green-blue umbrella,and walked
right into the water to be baptized. They walked a cirlce in the water,
then they got out of the water, walked back to the truck and drove
away....all in about 5 minutes. We talked to a young man playing a
harmonica, Byson Kachala (Byson Little Finger), who was eager to tell us
what he knew about the United States. We took his picture and about a year
and a half later, close to our COS, he stopped at City Hall for it and to
say "hello" to Don. We saw some great birds including my
favorite....hammerskopf (I think) anybody remember them, they looked like
little brown pterodactyls. It was such a nice Malawi day, I thought maybe
it would stir some mental pictures of your own.
Our second year we went to the ambassador's. Lots of you on this list were
there....we have pictures. Most memorable, besides a real Thanksgiving
feast and a great gathering of friends we hadn't seen for awhile, was Mike
Nolan throwing the ambassador in the pool and the ambassodors graet good
humor, and our neat gift from Peace Corps for being substitute
"parents"......our painting. It's finally framed and sits just over the
computer here in our guest room which brought back all these momories of
Thanksgivings in Malawi and of all of you.
Have a wonderful day. This year we'll feel homesick for our home,
neighbors and friends in Malawi. You, the Dudleys, Drazeks, and Wises,
must feel really extra specially, joyously happy and
thankful.....congratulations! Love to you all....Cathy and Don, too