Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mama Wonge

Me: "Mama Wonge!" (My mama!)

Mama Jane: "Lena Wonge!" (My Lena!)

Me: Wasuze otya? (How is the morning?)

Mama Jane: Jende (It is fine)

Mama Jane: Oli otya? (How is your day?)

Me: Bulungi. (It is good)

Mama Jane: Ogenda wa? (where are you going?)

Me: Ngenda Auntie Constance awaka (I am going to Auntie Constance's house)

Me: Ogenda wa mama? (where are you going mama?)

Mama Jane: Ngenda Lena awaka (I am going to your house)

Me: Calle (okay)

Mama Jane has been to my house twice...once to visit me when I was having my hair plated, and the other time to check on me and sweep my house when I had malaria...so the fact that she had purse in hand and said she was coming to my house surprised me... I decided that it was worth being a little late to my mentor's house to see what was going on...

I unlocked my door and told Mama Jane she was welcome...In she came, closed the door and placed her purse on the floor. She bent down over it, and I noticed that inside she had some fabric...At this point I was wondering how we would communicate with each other, being that the extent of my language is still counting and greetings.

So out it came...It was a skirt, a white skirt, with silver sequins on it...it was beautiful, and obviously hand made...

Me: Wow mama! Did you make?

Mama Jane: Yes

Mama Jane unwrapped it and started tying it around my waist...Then out came a matching top, which she also put on me. I looked down...it was a traditional Rwandan dress...one that Mama had made for me...

Me: Mama, for me?

Mama Jane: Yes, Nkwagala nyo. (yes, I love you so much)

Me: ahhh! nkwagala nyo Mama wonge! (ahhh, i love you so much my mama!)

Mama Jane: Lena Daughter wonge (My Daughter Lena)

Mama Jane: You be happy. No crying

Me: okay mama

(of course her generosity and her love for me did make me tear up a little at this point)

Me: Mama wonge, weebale nyo (thank you so much my mama)

Mama Jane: ummm...daughter, nkwagala nyo! (yes, daughter, I love you so much)

Me: Weebale nyo, nyo, nyo...nkwagala nyo (thank you sooooooo much! I love you!)

This week had been a hard week for me with some of the things we were discussing in class and things that I had been asked to discuss with my mentor...Mama Jane knew that just because she could see it on my face...and her way of blessing me, was giving me a most precious gift...a traditional dress from her country.

I had the honor of honoring my adopted mother this past Sunday when I wore the dress to church. The smile on her face was priceless, along with the smiles on the faces of all of her Rwandan friends that come to our church and greet me each Sunday.

I am so blessed to have Mama Jane here with me and I dearly love our interactions, no matter how simple they are.

God has used Mama Jane to bless me and I am so blessed to be able to bless her...this month, our institute class is working on a building project...its a surprise one...one that will give Mama Jane a home that is safe, and a kitchen in which she can cook in...I cant wait to see her face when we all go there and start building...I hope that it blesses her as much as the dress blessed me today!


kboden said...

I love how our Papa works, Lena! He lavishes good gifts on His children...you get to see that and trust that in so many ways. I love you!

Neil and Courtney said...

this is beautiful, Lena! It makes me smile like a goof sitting here all by myself :)

I love you!

teri said...

To my precious daughter Lena,
i trust you will take a picture in your dress from Mama Jane so that we can see it and enjoy it with you.. i love you...i miss you...and pray for you and send my hugs to you and kisses today! xo mom