Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happiness found in second-hand clothes

The Ik love when we have visitors. Greetings go around. Husbands are looked for if a lady is single. Roasted maize is shared in the gardens. They also love what happens when the visitors leave (not that they love for visitors to leave). We usually ask that our visitors come with some clothes to leave behind when they go. This is just because it's so difficult & expensive for the Ik to try and get clothing. Many wear rags for months on end. Many get cold and don't have a coat. Very few have good shoes.

This was no different when Laura left us two weeks ago. She left behind some very nice clothes and the Ik have been the proud benefactors. At one point, I was asking people to buy clothing from me for a cheap price (10-25 cents) but these days I have many friends who give me gifts and like to receive clothing in return.

Below are two old ladies who received sweaters. Not only did we get a 'thank you' from them, they blessed us and our little hut for about fifteen minutes. It was almost a drama, where one lady would start dialoguing and the other would join her and build on the enthusiasm. Arms were raised, we were blessed with spittle and then came the next request...for a skirt too. ;)
These young girls all received new shirts. They are my next door neighbors, water carriers and frisbee buddies. {Jennifer, Lemu, Betty, Nancy, Namoi & Alice} It doesn't matter that the shirts are too big; from their point of view, it just means they can grow into them.
This is my good friend, Cecilia, who is married to our language helper, Philip. We've been spending a lot of time with her lately and have begun to appreciate her more and more. She visits our house almost every day, tries to help us learn the language, and even guides us to other villages for talks with Ik neighbors. She was thrilled to get a new dress and wore it during a game of frisbee. Laura, these Ik women say 'Ilakasuk'otiak!'....which means...'I am happy!'


Notinthewild said...

I myself couldn't be happier.:) Sorry I wasn't there to receive the spittle directly . . . but at least I get to see Cecilia in a moment of glory!

Anonymous said...

Cecilia makes me smile!