Sunday, September 16, 2007


Today was a pretty great day. We went to 2 services at the local Lutheran church, one in English and one in Setswana. The vocal talent in this one congregation alone is amazing! There was a small ensemble (3 women, 1 man) doing music in the first service, occasionally with percussion (drum, sticks and tambourine). They had tight harmonies and a rich, full sound. The acoustics didn't hurt the sound either – mondo reverb. In the second service, we were doubly treated, even though we couldn't understand the language. The children came in and sang a few songs with surprising skill, at least from my usual experiences with children singing in church. Typically, children singing in church seems to me to be tailor-made for oohs and aahs of “Aren't they cute!” and “Look at Johnny, trying to eat that microphone!” but precious little more. Not these kiddos. These kiddos were pitch-on and singing with gusto. After that, a small choir of the teens went to the front and did a few pieces. Again, bang on but with harmonies this time. Some call and response stuff with various leaders. Of particular interest to me was the tenor, a pretty powerful voice from a guy his size. All good singing. Basically, I felt like Rob could pretty much throw a microphone in front of any of these groups and have them hit one out of the park in terms of end product quality and local (maybe global?) marketability.

After the first service, we met Margaret, one of the smaller choir's members. Turns out she's a neighbor of ours, lives just around the corner from us. She said that some women from the church were going this evening to visit some of the sick women who couldn't make it to church. She asked if I wanted to come along. I said yes so she came by our place to get me in the afternoon. While we waited for the taxi to pick us up, she told me about her family and what she does for a living. Her husband is a nurse at the hospital nearby and she makes African women's clothing. Given that I discovered this morning that the only clothing I have that is suitable for local church is a single spaghetti-strap dress that I have to wear a linen shirt over to make appropriate, I asked if she could make me something to wear. I'm hoping to get over to her house some time this week to talk patterns and material. I'm so excited! Rob did accuse me of coming to Africa for the clothes. Margaret is actually from Tanzania (a whopping portion of the local Lutheran church is, interestingly enough) but she's been living here in Botswana for 4 years.

We ended up having to walk to the nearby taxi stand but eventually made it to the church, where the women were meeting to carpool for visiting. We only went to one woman's place, which is really all we would have had time for. It was quite a party-like event. We had a time of singing, prayer and a short message from Rev. Titus. Then, the food and drink. I had some more of that fabulous African Coca-cola along with deep-fried bready things and a stir-fry pepper steak type of dish. In fact, on my way out, I made what was probably my first Botswanan social gaffe. While I was thanking the woman's children for the wonderful food, I commented on how tasty the bready things were. They immediately offered me some to take home. I said, “Well, just one, for my husband to try.” They said that I would have to take more and, between the 3 of them, got a baggie and filled it with half of what was left (about 7 balls). Not that I was unhappy with that; they were durned tasty. It occurred to me on the way out, however, that I may have unwittingly made a request for some by commenting on how tasty they were. I haven't confirmed that this is the case, though. I'm just paranoid. Ah well. Rob certainly appreciated those bready things. They had a wonderful, delicately spicy flavor.

No comments:

latest newsletter

blasts from the Dancing Sni's past…