Wednesday, February 8, 2012

North Trip Part Four ~ Village of Bardam

This is another long post, but trust me, the journal entry that contain this adventure consists of many, many pages!  I explained a few things in detail and hope you take the time to read the short stories with my pictures, it's only a small taste, but it's a taste.
Yet another, and one of the most interesting of our adventures during our stay in the north was the ancient village of Bardam.  The previous missionary doctor in Koza performed an operation on the chief of Bardam at the hospital, then managed to find his village for a follow up visit to check on him.  A positive relationship was formed and made it possible for us to visit the village.

 We brought a gift for the chief and his family as a peace making and respectful gesture in exchange for being welcomed warmly and being allowed to take pictures.  We greeted the chief with a respectful "balli baba" which means "hello father" in Moffa.
 When we got to the village everything we wanted to convey to the chief or anyone in the village had to be translated to the dialect of Moffa.  So we would discus what to say in English, Spencer translated it to French so that our motto driver could understand it, then he (Vambi, one of our drivers) translated it from French, to Moffa... then the response would come back through the translation train... reminded me of playing "telephone" as a kid and made me wonder how clearly our messages were really being conveyed.

 We packed extremely light for our north trip because of the quality and ease of transportation... but just before we left our room I spotted a bag of balloons and threw them in my bag thinking I'd probably be able to find some kids who'd love to have them.  The morning we left for Bardam I brought them along and was so glad I did!!
 The kids were really quiet and didn't show much epression besides what seemed to be utter shock.  The villagers had gathered around in a crowd to watch us; as each balloon was released to a child, the whole village would cheer!
 All of a sudden there was a small commotion and somebody brought a goat into the middle of things, I had no idea what was going on, I was hoping supper hadn't just showed up... then all of a sudden the goat was presented to Spencer as a gift.  It was a huge honor, we were told later that a chicken would have been a big deal, but a GOAT... very honored!

 "Kitchen counter"  containing three nicely worn grooves from hours of grinding.
 This was the little mud hut for making billbill (millet beer).  It sat beside the mud hut that held the grain, sort of a mini silo.

 I don't know what this "berry" is called, but they knocked some out of a tall tree for us to try, they're really good :) but not a "berry" like you would think, they're dry and you just chew on them until you clean all the "meat" off the pit.
 picture perfect typical African tree, with some huts fading into the background.
 The doorway of the chief's main hut, notice the bones in the rocks/bricks on the top right corner of the doorway.
 I got this picture when the Chief's first wife came to greet us, here's a quote from what I wrote about her in my journal that night:
"When we were sitting on the rocks a thin little lady with less teeth than normal came to greet us.  We were told she was the Chief's first wife, first of 9, but 8 are still alive and have produced 28 kids.  She greeted us with honor by using both hands to shake our hands.  She expressed her deep joy and honor, moving her hands and whole body to gesture and show emotion as her mouth moved but not a single verbal word was said.  She knew that our words, verbal languages we use to communicate, were different and words would do no good.  So, she used every other emotion showing feature she could, to express in some small way what was overflowing in her heart and mind."  ...the message was conveyed, in silence.
 Motto rides!
 Here's another quote from my diary to explain this picture:
"One little boy looked like he was standing funny, I realized his pants were 5 or more sizes too big and tied with a rope in attempt to make them suffice.  But when I looked closer in a quick, casual glance I realized that his large pants were the least of his problems.  His stomach was huge and round from malnutrition and there was something abnormal with his leg and hip which accentuated the problem of the large pants."
Interesting story, one of these three bulls will be the lucky participant in the famous beef feast coming up in March.  I'm sure by now, whichever one of these bulls was selected, is locked in a mud hut with no light, their goal is to make the bull as crazy as possible until the day of the feast when they give it millet beer until the bull is literally drunk and then make it angry and let it out... the entertainment is to run around chasing and being chased by it until someone gets it pinned.... then they have a barbecue!


Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much different the country seems up North compared to where you live. I hope and pray Spencer is enjoying his time in Africa and that God is doing GREAT things in him and for him. Love you, mom

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the curly hair!! Very cute, how do you get it straight some days and so curly the next??