Saturday, August 30, 2008

Last weekend in Namibia

It is August 30--our son and his wife's 11th anniversary. Happy Anniversary Nolan and Maryanne. It is also our last weekend in Namibia. This morning the plan was to take one of the workers out to breakfast but I woke up not feeling so well so Aaron went by himself. Now, I'm telling you the truth!! for me to turn down going out to breakfast you have to know I really didn't feel good. After taking some meds I began to feel better. I gave a last piano lesson to Laudia and she presented me with a dress that is her tribal dress. I was very surprised. What a nice thing for her to have had made for me. Now I have a dress from two of the tribes here--Damara and Oshivambo (and I've probably spelled both of them wrong.)

Tomorrow we'll be busy in church--Aaron is preaching and I'm leading worship. Then Monday morning we'll head off to the airport.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Day by Margaret

Today I have been married 38 years--and all to the same man.

This is my day:

Went to breakfast at the German cafe where I had a brotchen with salami, cheese and tomato. Also had an apple turnover and coffee. Aaron had bacon, egg and toast with a jelly donut.

Came back home briefly, then went to pick up Rosie to clean the church then we went to a streetside vendor to buy a hat.

We have been amused by the fact that this sign clearly says No Vendors or Selling but everyday this man is here selling his hats. Also several women set up food pots to sell meals. You will see a policeman standing around and even purchasing food. So perhaps the sign doesn't mean what it says.

This is a gambling joint in town. I have NOT been there. It is called The Lucky Dip--lucky for whom I'd like to know.

After returning home Aaron went to the shop to work and I went to the library where I solved some of the mysteries I needed to solve. I worked on songs for church tomorrow and got that all prepared.

I had forgotten to take my phone with me so poor Rosie spent more time at the church then planned. We went to pick her up, Aaron took her home, I stayed at the church waiting for the choir.

Only 3 people came and so instead of doing a special number tomorrow they will be part of the worship team. I taught them songs they did not know.

Now Aaron has the BBQ going to do some chicken and I'll cook some rice.

All in all a very profitable day.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Taking it for granted

Electricity that is. Living in the USA we are used to having electricity most of the time. Winter weather can change that, and also other circumstances. But generally we have electricity.

Today here in Namibia it had been announced that the electricity would be off all over town from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. We had a dinner to prepare for the folks from various towns in Namibia who had gathered in Otjiwarongo for a church conference. Fortunately most cooking is done on gas burning stoves. There were four of us in the kitchen preparing the meat, onions and potatoes. Several kilos of rice had been cooked. Carrot salad was the vegetable of the day.

Many people here enjoy the bones and this game meat had lots of bone. The long hours of cooking made the meat extremely tender and when I sat down to eat I enjoyed it so much.

The only bad thing about not having electricity today was not being able to watch the Olympics but that's okay. It was a marvelous, busy day and the tiredness I felt was deserved. Working to serve others brings a great reward of satisfaction.

Tomorrow we will do the cleanup. The hot water had all been used so cleaning by hand wouldn't have been very sanitary. The dish washer is full. By tomorrow we'll have hot water again and the kitchen will be put to rights. is good.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You Just Might Get Called to Preach...even if you aren't a preacher

Today, August 10, we visited another local Assembly of God church here in Otjiwarongo. We went expecting to hear one of the students, who is the pastor and also attends the Bible school, preach, but he had not yet returned from Zambia. A young lady was leading the service, beginning with prayer. At one point she welcomed us and called Aaron "pastor." I think perhaps if you are visiting Africa and you are white and attending church it may be assumed you are a pastor. Not the case for us.

A bit into the service this young lady and a lady we knew came back to us and asked if Aaron could preach. When you are serving Jesus, the answer should be YES. So as they sang all their songs, announcements and more songs (I'd told R to sing lots of songs) Aaron was thinking about what he would talk to them about. it turned out, Aaron did become the preacher for today. He had me go up front with him and I gave a short talk. Every sentence either of us said is translated in two languages. You are patient and speak one sentence at a time and it works well. Aaron then gave his talk about the potential we have to be used of Jesus, using how water goes through turbines to turn the generator to produce electricity at a dam as an example.

At the end of the service after they took the offering I was asked to conclude in prayer. Before praying I said I wanted to sing a favorite song I'd learned here last year: "There's no one, there's no one like Jesus." Oh they sing it with gusto.

What a privilege to serve Jesus in this way. Be ready!!

I am putting this picture in just because I think it is a cool looking picture of zebras at Etosha National Park which we visited a few weeks ago.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Double Bar LInes

For all you non-musicians out there, the double bar line means you are at the end of the song. For me right now it means that the class is finished, the recital is finished, and the juice and cookies are finished.

Some students played pianisimo, some played mezzo forte, and a couple played forte. Some played andante when they should have played lento, some played...oh you get the picture. I can't think of enough musical terms to describe it. I worked and worked with those who were playing eighth notes, explaining the relationship between quarter notes and eighth notes. "Eighth notes are two times faster than the quarter notes. You cannot play the simple quarter notes fast and then slow down for the eighth notes. If you can't play the eighth notes faster then you must slow down the quarters." If I said it once, I said it 10 times. When it was M's turn you could tell she was extremely nervous. Her 3 youngest children were there to hear her for the first time. She announced that she was going to play "Away in a Manger." Throughout the song she made so many mistakes and corrected them that if you didn't know what she was playing you'd have had a hard time figuring it out. But when she was finished she was greeted with a wild round of applause. Later she asked her husband if he could tell she was playing "Away in a Manger." He said, "Well, you told us what you were going to play." She laughed hilariously at herself for quite a while.

When I called for R to come play I asked him what he was going to play and he replied, "The Falling Bridge." Aaron laughed very hard as did we all. Two of his friends had come to hear him and he played "London Bridge is Falling Down" exceptionally.

Dr. Z had learned the melody of "Amazing Grace" from the printed page and then came up with own version. I had showed him how to play a C Chord with his left hand to end the piece and he ended with a flourish by playing it 3 times.
He and the other man who played Amazing Grace said they needed the grace of God to be able to play.

Things at the campus will now be very legato until the middle of August when the Church Conference starts. I'll finish up in the library, and Aaron will continue with his carpentry. Our flat needs some attention. The stress is over for awhile.
We've been asked to come back to Namibia next year after we finish up in Botswana. We'd be here for 2 weeks and I'd teach the music class again.

Friday, August 1, 2008

What's a jingle?

In preparation for teaching music here in Nambia, I did a little searching on the internet looking for easy beginner piano music. I found a site where it is free to print music from and I downloaded 20 songs in to my flash drive and printed them out, making a booklet for each of my students. The first song was A Tisket, a Tasket, A Green and Yellow Basket. Finally after hearing that many times, I told them "No more A Tisket, A Tasket."

One of the songs is 2 lines of "Jingle Bells" and a student was singing it as he walked along. He saw my husband and asked, "What's a jingle?" Another song is "London Bridge is Falling Down." A student wrote "important" on the song, meaning he really wanted to learn it. They may not understand it, but they like the song. They were amazed when I told them London Bridge is in Arizona now.

A student was overheard asking, "Why did London Bridge fall? Was it during World War II?" When I was told that it cracked me up. Things we take so for granted just knowing are not necessarily things that are known all over the world.

Another student was absolutely determined to learn the simple version of "Amazing Grace." On his page he wrote "vital." And he has learned it. It may not be perfect but it will be recognizable. The amazing thing about all of this is....they've learned these simple songs in only 5 days. I've tried to spend 15 minutes per day with each of the 14 students and tomorrow they will have a small recital. We had a practice today where each of them played their piece. How exciting. We applauded. They high fived. These are adults who are so excited to learn a little about playing the piano.

One man who plays well by ear, has learned on his own "When the Saints Go Marching In." It has chords and tied notes--not necessarily an easy feat for a beginner. He has spent a lot of time on this song. I've helped him twice, figuring out the rhythm, where the notes fit together, etc.

It will be interesting to see how the recital comes off tomorrow. To be continued.