This year our family was invited to spend Christmas day with our brothers and sisters in Lassa Tchou. We gladly accepted, and we were joined by our friend and colleague Mike Squires and his roommate Larry. Since we were invited to the party, we of course had to bring gifts. We settled on watermelons and a huge monitor lizard! Watermelon season is almost over here, so we decided to get 5 big, juicy ones to bring to the party. The monitor lizard was more of an impulse buy, but we knew that it was a savored delicacy for the Kabiye, and as you can see from the picture below, it was a very well received gift!
Here is a picture of our friend Boniface preparing the giant lizard, which measured about 4 feet in length. We did not get a chance to taste it ourselves, but we spoke the next day with Jean Marie, who said that is was very, very sweet! Puwe lelen kpem!
We went to share our lives with our friends, and that we did. Caden and Corban love spending time in the villages, and they especially enjoyed this trip with all of the singing, dancing and playing with the village children.
We always feel welcome in Lassa Tchou, and many people that have visited Kabiye land have felt the same way. Caden ran around like a wild man with the children, and Corban managed to get a dance with this young girl :)
Our children are a novelty in the villages we visit, but they really are much more than that. We, as parents, rarely feel more loved then when people love on our children. All parents understand this. This is even true in Kabiye culture, where children are often an afterthought. We believe that God has put a love for children in the hearts of His people, a belief that is confirmed strongly by the interactions Jesus had with the little people he came into contact with. Some things, we have found, are universal, transcending culture, religion, social status and any other barrier that man creates. God has chosen the mouths of infants and children to truly praise Him!
Caden simply could not be corralled for this picture, taken after a tasty meal of rice, pork and tomato sauce. This festival reminded us that we as God's people occasionally need to stop, reflect, and enjoy this life on earth that He has given us. We are thankful for our family in Lassa Tchou, who showed us once again that one of God's great gifts is that "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."