Village Visit

Wednesday,  August 17, 2016

This morning we visited a homestead that is part of a local village. They are used to American visitors as the organization we are traveling with supports their school. Many neighbors joined the welcome and we had a nice tour of the fenced compound that Francisca (age 63) and her husband head. We presented the groceries we bought yesterday. Many children and grandchildren were about. We heard about a typical day, saw the goats and chickens, and learned about home construction (“cement” made from termite mounds of different colors (which the women build) topped by thatched roofs (which are made by the men). Bex told us it was very much like the village he was raised in… by his granny. We have heard many stories about his growning up days.

When asked about challenges, we learned that few homes have paid the water connection fee and so walk to the river to fetch it. Also, although the power lines run right by the village, they do not have the fee for the connection ($5000) or the monthly service fees. They would like electricity so children could study after their chores are done and it is dark. They strongly value education.

As usual, Pepper made friends with some of the children (wasn’t sure she was coming home with me.)  They enjoyed being photographed with her and watching her climb a tree. At one point, one of the little boys took my hand and took me to play a jumping game. They were also amused by seeing their own photos as well as photos of our 2 year old grandson, Atticus.

After siesta,  we had a talk about the cultural practice of polygamy… by a male practioner.  He has 3 wives having divorced a 4th. He was very candid and it was quite interesting. It seems to be a common but not majority practice. And… only men get to have have multiple spouses… not women. He talked about how this blends with the majority Christian practices and how it is changing in the next generation to a practice of mistresses rather than multiple wives.
Then we had a wildlife drive. Saw where aardvarks had been digging… but no aardvark… plus dwarf mongoose/mongeese/mongooses. (Also more elephants. There are about 5 times as many elephants here than appropriate to the carrying capacity.) Then appetizers and beverages in the bush with yet another classic African sunset before driving back to camp for dinner. Amazing.

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