Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Threshing Thresholds

Last week I got a surprise. The principal organized a thank you ceremony to show appreciation for the work I've done fixing up the library. All the learners were lined up outside the library and she told them in oshiwambo ('so that each and every learner can get what I am saying') that she had some gifts for me for the 'good good job' that I did. She had asked me earlier to give her a picture of myself and I was kinda suspicious something was up. It turns out that she wanted the photo so she could print it on a shirt. On the front it says, Mr: Parker Lewis captioning my semi-blurry enlarged picture, and on the back it has a message about the improvement of the school library and how they will 'aways remember me and never forget.' I also got a certificate and a big container of omashuku (nuts from the marula fruits).

Meme Principal showing off my new shirt

You can see my picture on the shirt and the big container of omashuku - I joked with the learners that now I can watch them with four eyes

The learners lined up in their classes

Susana and Ester playing checkers; Gertrude and Helvi enjoying some literature; And look at all those books on the nice new shelves I bought with your generous donations!

Justina and Alina working a couple puzzles

And here are some more pictures from the homestead. After all the millet is gathered from the fields, they pile it up in the oshipale which is the place where they thresh the grain from the stalks. Some stems are raked out to the middle and they just start wailing on it with old palm tree branches. After it's separated then they sweep it up into the ever growing pile of threshed grain. When it is all beaten, they then have to sift out the unwanted parts and it is stored in one of the few huge grain baskets they have within the homestead. The threshing took about two weeks of sporadic work and all the while trying to shoo off the marauding birds.

Corn cobs, ground nuts, and millet

Meme and Tillie observing the millet pile

Mwingona and Niita midthresh

See the grains fly

Homestead in the background

Meme with headwrap, corn, and cell phone pouch

The pile post-threshing

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