Friday, November 13, 2009

Africa Night Fellowship!

What a FUN night we had tonight! I admit I was a bit stressed today, getting everything ready. Between the cooking and the cleaning we were going strong until about 30 minutes before everybody got here. Let's just say that today was a "home economics" day at Gillispie Christian Academy. =-)

We had our dining table set for eight, a regular sized card table for the big kids, a kid sized card table for the mid kids, and a little toddler table for Kendi and Bright. We ended up with 20 people (9 adults and 11 kids), so ended up with 5 at the card table and 9 at the dining table (as if you care!). I think 20 people is about the limit for our house when it comes to actually sitting down for a meal. Yikes! But it all worked out.
We ended up with families who had experiences with countries in African including Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, S. Africa, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone (missions, adoptions, immigrants, and work visas). Such precious families.
The food was AMAZING! We had Waakye, Tomato Gravy, and Jollof from Ghana; Injera, Dora Wat (chicken "soup"), and lentil wat from Ethiopia; white rice and a really interesting beef/walnut/raisin/cream dish eaten in S. Africa (but actually Malian); and Kenyan tea with chocolate cupcakes to wash it all down with! All the dishes went so well together. I didn't get a picture, I just realized. Darn! Only got a picture of the kitchen ready for all of these yummy dishes!
Bright and Kendi have a new favorite person. Gitanga! Gitanga immigrated from Kenya to be with his wife Danae and son Sampson (19 months) just over a year ago. He and the Ghanaian kids just clicked from the get go. Gitanga even sat down and ate his dinner at the little tiny dining table for Kendi and Bright. Too cute. Bright also now "gets" what I hope his hair will eventually look like. Is that not the coolest hair?! The whole family is just precious.
After dinner the kids (and some adults) got the drums out and had fun playing around. The highlight was when Sampson and Bright got down, jumping and beating without that shyness that adults feel about such things.
Our friends Faith and Todd were here, with their 3 current kiddos Graham (5), Lydia (10), and Elise (7). They will be welcoming 2 from Ethiopia in the next few months. Can't wait for little Adam (16 months) and Lydia (yes, another Lydia!, 9 years) to get home! Our kids, at this point, treat each other like brother and sister--complete with little sibling-like spats. We lost Taevy to the E. family for at least a day, maybe two. She just loves spending time with them.
It was also such a joy to have Jan and Marisa and their two boys Enray (5) and Devan (6)! They are from S. Africa. It has been so interesting to get to know more about S. Africa. I was so naive about S. Africa. I thought most spoke English, when in fact Jan and Marisa's boys are learning English for the first time here in America, having spoken Afrikaans their whole lives. It's such a beautiful sounding language. Jan and Marisa are here for 3 years while Jan does something very over my head with engineering and petroleum! =-) I love that my kids don't think of all Africans as black. Because of this family my kids know that there are also blond haired, blue eyed people that are also "from" Africa.
Our pastor also came by, with his son Solomon. Our pastor just got back from a really amazing mission trip to Sierra Leone, and has also been to Tanzania in the past. He also used to live in China. So cool to have a pastor who sees the world as a small place, as we all should.
When it's all said and done, the work of cooking and cleaning and preparing to host friends in our home, is worth it all and then some. Being a hostess is not something that comes naturally to me. Opening up my house is HARD. But the Lord is showing me that I should work on that. I think He would desire that all of His children always have an open house.


Renee 7:07 AM  

Your house looks like it was meant to be full of people. What a wonderful time Y'all had!

Joel would love hair like that. I can't figure out how to get it to "there" though.

Thank you so much for sharing your fun time!

Calico Sky 1:16 PM  

What a great idea, you are so creative! I hope you don't mind I added you to my blogroll!

sarah in the woods 9:09 PM  

I would love to be able to do something like this. What a special time!

Kristin Jag 1:34 AM  

Looks like a great time, Anita! I will have to try something like this too. I was just excited to see that there is a restaurant not too far away that makes Groundnut soup. I am excited to try it.

A. Gillispie 9:30 PM  

Thanks ya'll. Renee, I would NEVER thing of my house as meant to be full of people, but it did feel good to have precious families here. =-)

Calico Sky--always love new readers! Thanks!

Kristin--have fun with the groundnut soup! Not my thing! LOL!

Laurel 10:13 PM  

Sounds wonderful! Way to step out of your comfort zone, in order to fellowship.

And, isn't independent homeschooling great, when you can take a day for Home Ec., rather than worrying about what the curriculum says you have to do that day?