Our theme for November is Noticing Goodness. Today’s specific theme was Embracing a Heart of Gratitude. Linda started us off in a big way sharing about her trip to Africa. She visited Malawi, the poorest country in the world with approximately 50% unemployment. Despite this lack of monetary wealth, she noted how happy and content so many of the people were. What a reminder to us, who have so much, that we should live with a spirit of thankfulness! Linda showed us so many interesting pictures, here are just a few below (her originals were better quality, but hopefully you get the idea!). Several interesting points she made were:
–People walk everywhere there, even for hours to get where they need to go, very few have cars. They even have a bicycle ambulance with a pull cart to carry someone in back.
–They sell what they have available to make a living, for example bananas from their banana tree in the backyard or cutting wood from the forest and bringing it by bike to sell in town.
–Cooking is done over a fire or stone outdoor stove, kind of like when we go camping. They live like this every day!
–The school has 300 students who eat lunch and sometimes breakfast provided at the school. They have meat (goat usually) once a week and receive one cookie a week.
–People make sun-dried bricks from the soil and use these to build their houses (see picture below).
–Many girls have very short hair or shaved heads. This makes it easier to stay clean.
–Linda brought over 70 books to the school from Goodwill. The kids have a special interest in resource books about the rest of the world. This added greatly to the school library where books are hard to come by.
–The kids play with rubber tires and simple items in their environment. Their playground is pictured below. The kids are happy and enjoy these simple toys.
Thanks for sharing about your inspirational trip Linda. May we follow the example of the Malawi people and appreciate all we often take for granted!
We’ll meet again in two weeks On November 20 for Noticing Goodness: Embracing a Heart of Service. We’ll make a service craft as we prepare our hearts and families for Thanksgiving. Hope to see you there!