Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Kukolope ndi Ana

(Chichewa translation: Mopping with the kids)

Yesterday afternoon the kids came over to hang out. We practiced our English colors (Petro knew "khaki"!), the words for feelings (they love acting out "scared" and they get wild when we practice "happy") and ate mangos and these small black fruits with pits that they called "nanyole". Then I brought out a game of Snakes & Ladders that I found at Shoprite in Blantyre. They got bored with it pretty quickly and we moved on to looking at books.

Then they started telling me to mop my porch because it was dirty. I said I didn't want to, and that it didn't bother me. They kept insisting it needed to be mopped, so that it could be "kuwala" (to shine).

The kids are not OCD-- it's just that a clean home is very important in the culture here. And with the cooking and washing and the chim being outdoors, that means the yard is also considered the home as well. Which is why sweeping the yard and keeping the grass short is so important to people here. The women sweep and mop their homes everyday. At school the kids sweep and mop everyday too, even in Primary School. Which means the kids are well-versed in basic cleaning skills.

So when they told me to mop, and I said I didn't want to, they begged me to let them do it. Well, what could I do? I gave them a mop and a bucket and they set about mopping my porch.

Gender equality-- boys can mop too! Petro started the mopping.

They shared the work, I mean fun. Here is Fanny taking a turn:

They were really proud of their work. I thanked them in English and Chichewa, then I brought out a little oatmeal for them as a thank-you. They loved it!

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