by Work the World

I don't really have a translation for this one. When we asked, they answered...'it means cows, Boma Cows'. So there you are. Anyway, it is the name of the town we spent 1/1/2012 in and it was wonderful - a once in a lifetime experience!

First of all, it was the dawn of a new year so, naturally, we were all hungover. The idea of going for a 1.5hr bus journey was not all that appealing but we managed to get to the station with minimal fuss and maximum re-hydration.

We were headed to Witness' home village, Boma Ngombe. During the week she is chef and mother of the house and each weekend she makes the journey home to her family and 5yr old son. I couldn't imagine being separated from my child like that but she swears that she loves her job and wouldn't give it up for the world. Witness is amazing - she is about 5ft nothing, larger than life and a 'rafiki best' (best friend) to everybody!

So when she invited us to her home to celebrate the new year and also her Father's birthday, we jumped at the chance. We were a little worried though when we landed in the middle of nowhere but you could see how excited she was to have us there. We were in no way prepared for the overwhelming generosity and kindness of her family though.

First off we met everyone, including little Calvin, her son, then the rest of the family who managed to, despite having no kitchen or appliances, make cooking look glamorous.

Their home looks like it is straight out of a movie set. Unbelievable. One shed where they keep all the cooking things. There is another one for baby chickens and then another for mature chooks. We had a game of football with the kids in the dust while all the ladies cooked and the language barrier slowly began to melt away.

Then the feast was on! They had worked so hard to prepare all this. We had a good ol chat with everyone before all the ladies disappeared somewhere. They were putting on their Sunday best so they could take us around and show us off to the neighbours!

I don't know about you, but I'd be a bit shocked if ten of my neighbours showed up on my doorstep and brought some strangers with them. Not here though - the hosts couldn't have been happier to see us and almost wouldn't let us leave.

All in all, it was a huge day. I don't think I have managed to convey just how overwhelmed we were with it all. It is hard to imagine that kind of hospitality and generosity at home in Australia.

This blog was written by Ashlie Church, Australian medical student in Arusha.

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