"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Sunday, August 30, 2009

fall festival

Well, the fall festival…was. Thank goodness we didn’t arrive on time-we were an hour late, but it still started an hour after we got there. Immediately upon parking we were caught by one of the officials and brought around to the shaded area for honored guests.
The Festival really wasn’t much. Maybe a little disconcerting if nothing else-we were definitely on display! It was not of the pageantry of say, a Native American Indian powwow. I don’t know that the “native” dress of the Solis is, but mostly there were just wearing t-shirts and chitenges.
Due to the British influence of the past, Zambia seems to be a very formal society, and this was no exception, even considering it was a tribal festival. There were introductions, greetings, invitations and much formality-and there were hours to go before the actual speeches began!
After an hour or so, Brian, Henry, Myron and I went to walk a bit. We got some chips, got Myron a cute hat and a drink (sweet beer). I got to try the mancoyyo. You are tempted to think it is going to be sweet in the first bit, but then you get the grit and corn meal taste. Myron seemed to like it though! By the time we headed back, the Chief and all the dignitaries were at the granary buildings blessing the crops that were brought in. That was taking awhile, and then there was to be an hour of speeches before the gift giving. So the whole clan went out and walked about with Paul and Lori. We got some fritters, more chips, and popcorn, and of course, more stares.
The kids did way better than we expected they would, greeting and shaking hands. Cybil did the little bent knee bow when she shook one woman’s hand. The woman was not happy! I didn’t understand all of it, as it was in Soli, but by her actions she was getting after Cybil for bowing to her. Since we were there, and white, we were considered honored guests. What little we know of the culture would lead me to believe that she shouldn’t have bowed to her, because despite her older age, she considered Cybil of a higher place in the society than she was.
Soon after we decided to leave. We met Henry at his car; he had a meal ticket for all of us to go eat at the Chief’s palace (nishma and cow & goat intestine, yes I said intestine. It’s rather tender ). But that was still going to be hours away. We left our gifts with Henry and told him to enjoy our cow offal for us (cow intestines). It is an honor to have them, but it was time to go. We got back around 2:30, Henry was close to 6 pm. That would have been just too long for the kids.

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