Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve in Mokhotlong

My next door neighbor is feisty and fun.  She's 80 years old and spends all day on her front porch.  She is in better health now than she was five years ago, and she manages to get around pretty well with her walker.  Occasionally I see her walking to other neighbors' houses and it still surprises me.  The first couple of years we lived here, I never saw her leave her yard.  Her property is quite the thoroughfare and she enjoys watching lots of foot traffic go by her porch.  Everyone knows her and stops to visit for a while.  That's something I love about Africa.  No one misses an opportunity to visit.  No one is in that big of a hurry.

Her children don't live nearby so she has a live-in helper.  The son of her helper is Kyle and Ellee's best pal, Detay.  I often go over there and sit to chat with her.  She's a retired school teacher and she speaks fluent English.  Sometimes it seems she doesn't totally understand me.  She completely understands what I am saying.  But there is no doubt her 80 years in Africa and my 26 years, well, all over the place have been very different.  Our perspectives are different, but we find common ground to talk about.  She loves to talk politics and farming.  I know very little about either.

It isn't uncommon for me to bake a big batch of goodies and take them to her and our other neighbors.  Around Thanksgiving, I baked a huge spread of muffins and took a variety for her to try.  It was then that she asked me if she could gather the ingredients for me to bake muffins for her relatives who were coming into town for Christmas.  Of course I agreed, but then totally forgot about it.  

Yesterday a boy who rents a room from her came in my yard to ask what ingredients I needed.  After a few seconds of hunting through my memory to figure out what he was talking about, I remembered our agreement.  So I gathered up my favorite cookbooks and went to her front porch to see which kind of muffins she was wanting.  We decided on one of my favorite recipes.  I wrote out a list of ingredients, all of which you can now get in Mokhotlong thanks to our new grocery store!  

This morning Detay brought the ingredients to my door and I whipped up four and a half dozen to take back to her.  She was really excited to see them, especially since the recipe made more than I thought it would.  So she's got a whole pile of muffins to give to family and friends.  

It truly is better to give than to receive.  Even in the small things.

Tomorrow we will enjoy Christmas dinner with the World Race team who are here on outreach, along with our neighbors, Ntsimane and his family (Joy's family).  Ntsimane was adamant that we have traditional American turkey.  He found one while he was in South Africa a couple weeks ago and brought it home for me to cook.  The mission guys are grilling a sheep and the lot of us are bringing various side dishes.  It won't be quite the same as a candlelit Christmas dinner by the fire.... unless the electricity goes out.  But it'll be fun anyhow and I'm glad we have friends who are like family we can celebrate with tomorrow.  

Wishing our friends and family all over the world a very Merry Christmas! 


1 comment:

  1. THANK Abby for this great update :) And MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and Jono and your PRECIOUS kiddos :)