Heidi started working at the hospital this morning at 7:30am. I haven’t see her yet but I’m sure she’ll have an exciting report of what she saw and did. The other volunteers here are constantly raving about how much experience they are getting. I could tell she was getting quite and anxious to get in there and join them.
I spent the morning with Trey and his new nanny “Baby.” That’s right, her name is “Baby” – you know you’ve got a good nanny if everyone calls her by her nickname “Baby.” Her “name on paper” (as she described it) is Ellen and she has worked for several missionary families at the hospital over the years. She has worked as a nanny as well as house cleaner.
“Baby”, Trey, and I walked into town to get some food and toys. Unfortunately today is not market day so there wasn’t much available; market day is every 3 days so the next one is on Wednesday. I did buy 2 rubber balls for Trey for about $1.40. The only food that I found was some scrawny looking tomatoes, miniature onions, oranges, mini-bananas, and garlic. The whole lot only cost about $2.
“Baby” has taught me several Mampruli greetings so I practiced on every person we passed. It is amazing how happy and surprised people are to hear a white man greet them in their native tongue. It is also amazing how word spreads in a small village – so many people knew that I was the bearded white man who had randomly showed up at the chief’s burial last night. We passed by the home of the burial and there was still a crowd gathered. I greeted everyone with my newly learned greetings and got plenty of smiles and laughs.
It is a shame that American culture has lost the hospitality and sense of community that was so important a century ago. That is probably the thing I missed the most when I moved back to the US. I’m very excited that through last night’s funeral I’ve made several friends and am already being accepted in the community.