Thursday, July 3, 2008

How to wear an African scarf!

Now that I live and work among two people groups who traditionally hold elders in high esteem, I've decided to welcome in my white hair. This transition calls for a head scarf of some sort -- which fits right in with my African friends. My technique is pretty dull, while they know how to tie them in many elaborate styles! While visiting our refugee friends in Clarkston today, Terry and I met this sweet Burundian woman who was eager to teach the "wazungu wazee wawili" (two old white ladies!) how to wear a traditional scarf.

Start with your pretty blue scarf...Take out your fabric and fold it in half lengthwise, and then in half again...Now remove one scarf and begin to wrap on the new one ...Lay the scarf across your forehead ...Wrap each end around your head and bring them to the front ...
Take the two ends and put one through the other to tie the scarf ...
Pull the ends tight and tuck part of one length back through the knot ...
Wow, you look maridadi! (fancy!)
While I was getting my scarf tying lesson, Terry was helping our friend's husband with a phone problem. He's being billed for a telephone he ordered -- but never received in the mail.

This man and Terry have tried several times to discuss the situation with the phone company. The representative won't speak to Terry, because she's not the the person with whom they have a contract. But our friend can't speak English well enough to communicate the problem. Next time they're going to turn on Terry's speaker phone so they can both talk to the representative. This is the kind of daily need we encounter every time we're in the village. Please pray!
Before heading home today, I paused outside. Terry and I are writing our ESL/literacy/life skills curriculum inside an office at Clarkston International Bible Church (Southern Baptist). CIBC hosts church groups worshiping in many languages throughout the week. The Ethiopian congregation is well established, and they have a pastor of their own. It's exciting to see God at work in the lives of people from all over the world . . . in Atlanta!

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