Updated: Sep 18, 2018
We had the GREAT honor to spend the weekend at Major’s village, Batanai! Major and his wife, Patience, were fabulous hosts and we feel so fortunate to be invited into their home. We started Saturday off with a bumpy, 23-km drive on a dirt road to Major and Patience’s home, with the brave Ellee, Sam, Ben, and Brian in the bed of the pick-up truck. Kendra expertly manned the truck while changing the gears with her left hand AND driving on the left side of the road. Even with her expert maneuvers could not avoid the large holes and bumps. The poor people in the truck bed experienced an aggressive glute massage and a “natural spray-tan” courtesy of the billowing dust kicked up by the truck.
Upon arriving at Major’s, we got a tour of his land and his various huts, the glorious boma, and all of his animals (cattle, chickens, roosters, pigs, goats, dogs, and more!!) We went for a walk to the river where Major shared several crocodile attack stories with us and, although they were survival stories, we decided that it was probably time to head back. In the boma, we listened to more of Major’s fantastic stories, while taking turns taking bucket showers.
After being blessed by yet another beautiful African sunset, it was time for a delicious dinner of sudza, beef, and raab made by Patience over a traditional woodfire. For the post-dinner show, Major and his neighbor, Tapson, (one of the crocodile attack survivors), played the drums for us and Brian joined in! Major also taught us the ‘one-legged’ dance in preparation for church the next day. We finished the night with teaching Major and Tapson the dice game, Duda, and then went to bed to rest up for tomorrow.
Sunday morning started with the roosters howling and lots of coffee for the addicts on the trip (everyone but Ellee and Nicole.) We also observed Major, Regis (the village pastor), and Major’s cousin, Chum, round up the cattle to tag them. The cattle were really not interested in being tagged and it was more intense than we expected it would to round them up for tagging. Thanks to the hard work of Major, Regis, and Chum, Elisa, Nicole, and Sara were able to assist in the tagging! After all that work, we fueled up with traditional peanut butter porridge, eggs, and banana bread from Patience and made our way towards church!
Church was SUCH a marvelous experience. The service was held in the classroom of the local secondary school of Batanai and led by Regis, the village pastor. All of the village people were very welcoming and excited for us to participate. The service was filled with lots of lively music and drumming and thoughtful sermons. ‘Brother Brian’ was even invited to drum with Tapson! We then wrapped up the day with another delicious lunch courtesy of Patience before heading home back to Chidamoyo.
New fun facts:
1. People in Zimbabwe refer to ‘butt’ as ‘pumpkin.’ One of major’s croc attack stories was about a woman that was fishing in a group of women. Then the croc attacked, and Major’s tagline was “and then he sank his teeth into her pumpkin.” Thanks to the other women, she was pried away out of the croc’s jaws and immediately taken to Chidamoyo Hospital, however she was missing a chunk of her pumpkin. The next day a fisherman pulled up his net to find the missing sodden pumpkin chunk, which he returned to the woman’s husband. The husband then traveled to Chidamoyo carrying the pumpkin chunk in the hoped that it could be sewed on, however that was not a possibility given that it was in the dirty water. Major does report that the woman recovered well and is living her best life.