Friday, September 4, 2009

The Mountains

Yesterday we went on an excursion to the mountains. After lunch we loaded up into the back of a pickup-it was me, George, Elias, and two other students. The ride was very rough! There was never a point where the road was smooth. Elias did very good and enjoyed pointing out all the cows and horses along the way. We went high into the mountains and stopped at a house where we all piled out. This is where we were to make pottery out of clay. A young girl lived there (her mother had died about six months before). She was a very strong girl as she brought a big hunk of clay and started to knead out the rocks. She gave each of us a chance-she made it look a whole lot easier than it was. When the clay was ready we sat down on the porch in front of a bench. She placed the clay in front of us and we got to work. We laughed at each others pots or pitchers but in the end they all actually turned out pretty good. It was a lot of fun and George and I were reminded of the verse in Isaiah 64:8 "But now O Lord you are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand." God is such a great God! 
When we left this house our guide took us to a house a little farther up the mountain. Here the men were making cane syrup. This was so cool to see. They had a machine set up with a long wood pole over it. They would hook up cows on the end of the poles and the cows would walk in a circle. The men would stick the cane poles in the machine and as the cows walked around the parts of the machine would turn and squeeze the juice out of the cane. Then the men would take the juice and put it in a great big black pot. This pot was huge and they would build a fire under it. They would boil the juice in this pot for five hours continually stirring it. When we got there it was almost finished and it was boiling-big bubbles would come to the surface and pop. One of the men would stick his hand in water and then test the boiling juices-which now had turned to "goo" I cant imagine the pain of that but he acted as though it wasn't a big deal. The men then took the huge pot off the fire. Then they would take the goo and put it in man made holes in a large piece of wood where it would harden into a big block of sugar cane. It was very cool to see but so much work. The men said that they had worked for two days cutting the cane and then completing this process. They said for all that work they could only get about L600 (which is about $30) for all of the sugar cane!  The woman that was there gave us some to try and it was amazing! We wanted to buy some but they don't sell it. They said it was for the people in the area-we guessed that they use it to trade for other things. 
It was great to be able to spend time with the people. They are very poor and live simple lives but are so friendly.  Its a whole different life up there on the mountain. 

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome that you get a chance to experience a day in their lives. Continually praying for ya'll! Miss you! Love you more!!