As we continue to learn language, we also continue to learn the culture. They go hand in hand, if you learn the language and never learn the culture then you will never be able to relate to the people you are trying to minister to. This week during one of our language lessons, we drove to our language helpers village. He explained to us that every citizen is given 3 pieces of land by the government. The first piece of land is where they live, normally this is in a village. The second piece of land is the cattle post, or as they call it in Setswana Moraca. The third piece of land is for their fields or Masimo.
As Africa becomes more developed, less and less people depend on their fields and cattle posts for survival, but it’s still amazing to go into the villages and see how people can survive on their own without grocery stores to shop in.
Recently we attended part of a funeral process that lasted about a week. The evening we attended, it was a singing and preaching service for about 2 hours and then the men and women divided and socialized with each other. The women have to wear a scarf over their shoulder and a headdress and the men have to wear some sort of jacket.
This is part of the cattle post. Most cattle are “free-range” and wander around in the bush eating for the biggest part of the day. Normally a member of the family, a younger boy, has the job of watching after the cattle and making sure they each get back to the cattle post each day.
We were amazed out the huge plot of land that is given for people to plant their fields. Our language helpers grandmother is 80 years old and walks 45 minutes to the fields every day and works in the field for the biggest part of the day. The biggest thing they plant is corn, so they can make maize meal, they also plant lots of watermelons and beans. We bought a watermelon the other day at the grocery store and cut it open and it was white inside. We thought it was not yet ripe, so we through it away. When telling our language helper this story he started laughing so hard and informed us that there are both red and white watermelons and we threw away a perfectly good watermelon, ugh!