The next day’s experience is visiting a market and one of the villages some distance from Harare. The market is similar to what we would call a flea market. Carvings, men’s and women’s clothes, traditional attire, music, household items, food, souvenirs. Of course, I bought a dress for my niece 😉 .
Our group then had a wonderful lunch at a nearby restaurant before making the trip to the village. Vaughn and I were dropped off at the market by some friends so we caught a bus with other brothers and sisters en route to the village. I ended up sitting in the front, above the driver. So I’m looking out of the front window on the second level, taking in all the sights. I dozed off until waking on a dirt road that led to the village. We take this road for quite a while before stopping and being greeted by some of the young children of the village. They are laughing, smiling and waving. Walking up a path leading to the main area, we pass a brick oven which is used create the structures we will soon see.
We are divided into groups and each group starts learning about the village at different areas. We start with the task of plowing a field. After a demonstration of a young boy leading the cow and how to keep the plow straight, Vaughn volunteers to try it out. He does well enough that one of the father’s wanted him to stay in Zimbabwe to help out. Next, we moved to some tasks that many of the women of the village engaged in. These, too, were serious labor. I gave my hand in grinding corn and and making peanut butter. Now that was real organic peanut butter. No chemicals, just peanuts and grinding until you like crunchy or smooth. No sugar, no molasses, no salt, no … whatever else is usually in the brand I buy. I tasted some of this finished product and it was pretty good!
Continuing to kitchen duties, we went to a small building where meals were prepared and cooked. I just realized that long sentence is the definition of a kitchen, lol. Anyway, we pass some of the village animals that end up on plates and we hear how some of the meals are made and proper ways that the women and children handle things in the kitchen awaiting the men to come in from working the fields.
The women also demonstrated carrying pots on their heads. I had seen this earlier in the week of many other things being carried on the head. I gave it a try and did my best just standing in one place! This talent has to be taught from an early age. The balance and appearance of being effortless is amazing.
The village was yet another excellent experience in Zimbabwe. When it was time to leave the village, we were escorted back to our bus enjoying their voices singing in a cappella. The next day will actually be the first day of the Zimbabwe International Convention!