Last Saturday we had a college luncheon for the students and their families.
The first term for the newly established Lusaka Ministerial College ended last Friday.
It was nice to meet all the different pastors and their wives and children.
It was an interesting day. Lunch started at 1:00. We arrived a few minutes early and of course no one was there yet. About 1:30 maybe there were 4 or 5 out of the expected 80 people.
The kids were all getting hungry and so I put Grace on my back and walked over to the ntemba (little store) across the dirt road from where we were meeting. I found some biscuits and a few other snacks. I paid for the items and the woman said, "I like you". I told her thank you and then we exchanged names and I walked back.
When I got back the number of people had grown and so I went around meeting the pastors and their wives.
Each taking their seats in the shade in separate areas. The kids all were sitting around the table in the sun.
We waited 2 more hours before the meal that was planned for 1:00 arrived.
During that time James talked with the men, I tried to exchange a few words with the women but did not feel very successful at that. I sat down near a group of teenage girls and we talked a little bit. I kept checking on the kids and they were trying to get a game of "touch" (tag) going with the kids. They all just stared at them and when asked said no they didn't want to play.
So Ian and Caleb chased each other around. Some of the kids smiled and laughed a little bit. I had given them some biscuits (cookies) earlier and so I went back to ask them if they wanted to play. By now they all had been waiting at least an hour so I said, "come on don't you want to play". A few of the younger ones looked and half way said yes, so I got them to start playing and then some of the girls joined in. It was a tough crowd though, but I was so glad at our kids response and trying to get them involved.
Meanwhile Grace wandered around, but mostly wanted me to be holding her. So I put her in the chitenge on the back and the side. I know I was being watched by the women the entire time. And I was a bit self conscious of it as well. Not in an unkind way, but what else was there to do than to stare at the white women with the black baby on her back. Grace did very well for her first outing with the family. It was longer than we expected , and she ate a bunch of biscuits to keep her happy.
When lunch finally arrived while the caterers were setting it up James had each pastor introduce his family and then we sang a couple songs and then prayed and ate.
Group of pastors
Some of the pastors and their families
(This man was so sweet, when he came up to introduce his family, he said something about his wife and then leaned over and gave her a kiss. This is very unusual for Zambian culture as you will hardly ever see any physical public displays of affection)
While the children were in line first, almost every pastor came over with their wife and each wanted a individual picture of James and I standing with them. Pastor Chirwa was taking the pictures.
Then the men together then the women together. It felt so strange. After we ate, a few more came over and wanted a picture of James with their children. One woman just stood next to me and looked at me the whole time. That too was a bit awkward. I smiled at her and then looked away. I think this has happened to James a few times so he was used to it. Still new for me though.
It was nice to meet everyone. I think everyone was glad to be there and enjoyed the fellowship and the food. James said it was probably the nicest meal many of them would have had in awhile.