Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lubanga Mari, by Russell Milmo

Tuesday morning, Jul 25, 2012
Here we go, bright and early. A little warmer today, but it’s nothing new to me. Still hasn’t dawned on me that I’m in Africa. Some blue sky, red dirt. Just different culture. I tell you what, these people grow more corn here than the state of Illinois! These folks however, grow it to eat, not to sell. They are always roasting it over a little fire somewhere and kids are always gnawing on the cob. I noticed today that there peanut hulls on the ground. Turns out that what I call peanuts, they call them “ground nuts”. I reckon I got more in common with these folks than I thought, since I was raised on a corn and peanut farm. I’ve noticed that they don’t try to grow as much as they can, but instead only what they need. I asked Josephine about it and she actually grew up doing field work. She told me that they only grow what they can handle. Reason being is that the soil is so black and rich that anything will grow. This is one of the main reasons they don’t cultivate more because keeping weeds under control can be difficult.

Well, I finally learned what to say to the kids and adults who come to receive beds. Lubanga Mari, which means, “God loves you.” there were about 180 beds distributed today. I handed a lady a mattress, she turned around, sat the mattress down, lifted her hand and gave out this loud vivacious shriek. At first I thought I said “God loves you” wrong, but realized she was praising God instead. I guess that’s enough words on paper today.

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