trusting . resting . following

Purim... Tanzania-style

July 17, 2012
"Hamani"... "Ohhhhhhh."
"Esta"... "oooooo!"

We finished studying the book of Esther, my teen girls and I.  As a last hurrah we did some of the things the Jews do during their feast, Purim.  We ate a feast together (breakfast) with an old bibi (grandma), and brought her some gifts.  

Leslie, a student at West Coast Baptist College, was visiting at the time.  So, we took the time while "lounging" at the bibi's house to do lots of chatting.  Leslie asked them some questions about  their life as teen girls in Tanzania, like, "What are some hard things that Tanzanian teen girls face?"  Then they asked her a little about her life, "How did you get to school every day, did you walk?  What were some hard things American teen girls face?"  

Then we asked bibi Rosemary some questions about what life was like for her as a teenager.  She doesn't actually know how old she is (Most of the older generation don't.  It wasn't important back then to remember the date someone was born.)  But she did say she remembered the day she was married.  She was scared to death.  She was still a child, probably not yet 15.  We all gasped... not just we wazungu (foreigners), but even the Tanzanian teens from her own village!

Then we took turns reading through the book of Esther.  Whenever we came to the name Haman we "boo'd."  In Kiswahili a "boo" sounds more like a low pitched, "ohhhh."  Then at the name of Esther we cheered, a high pitched "ooo" sound with their unique trill they call "vigelegele."

It took quite a bit of time to read all 10 chapters.  (It generally takes longer to say something in Swahili, plus most of the girls aren't very quick readers.)  But that worked out well because the bibi's family started making us lunch... so we had plenty of time. :-)

Afterwards two of the older girls, Mage and Tasia, started witnessing to the bibi in their tribal language.  Bibi Rosemary got saved!

A huge meal of ugali, beef, rice, beans, and hot sweet tea finished off the visit.

When we got back to Pastor Petro's house (where I left my car) I pulled out little gifts for each of the girls... lotion, earrings, powder, etc.  They were SO excited!  I told them we had been emphasizing all month that true beauty is on the inside, but there is still something about us girls... we like to look beautiful.  And that's not a sin... God made us that way!  They all laughed.

The next morning, several girls and I quoted I Pet.3:3-4 for the church congregation.

 "Kujipamba kwenu kusiwe kujipamba kwa nje, yaani, kusuka nywele, na kujitia dhahabu, and kuvalia mavazi.  Bali kuwe utu wa moyoni usioonekana katika mapambo yasiyoharibika, yaani roho ya upole an utulivu iliyo ya dhamani kuu mbele za Mungu."
 Thanks to Leslie for all the good pictures! :-)

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