In South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland, for lunch we would normally have peanut butter sandwiches. But here in Mozambique, their only peanut butter is imported from South Africa and more expensive, so we have switched to bread and hard boiled eggs or peanuts themselves, which they grow here locally. Because of the hot and sometimes humid climate, it is hard to keep bread around for more than a day or two at a time, so part of the morning routine has become to (hopefully) walk through a town and find a small store or market to buy bread for lunch. Except for when those towns don’t exist, it has become a fun little addition to the days.
One day we knew there was a decent sized town coming up, and when we arrived we started looking around for bread. It’s usually pretty easy to spot because they bake it fresh every day or every other day, and then put it all in a clear plastic bag about half my size and keep it in the front, outside their store or sitting on the counter of their little stand. But we weren’t seeing any…we found a market, but it turned out to be just a clothing market, and kept going, and finally saw what looked like a food market. We made our way through the crowd and started walking up and down the stall aisles; there was fish, vegetables, and yes, ah, finally bread. We bought some and walked around a little more, we turn down the next aisle, and the women who were standing there, started singing to us. Well, I think, mostly to Aaron. Many people knew whatever song they were singing and rapidly joined in, within 60 seconds there were about 20 people singing this song. I really have no idea what it was about but I think it was either something about Jonah or Jesus…(Aaron’s look sometimes gets him equated with Bible figures, if not Johnny Depp or Mr. Bones, a SA movie character).
I mean, just picture turning the corner in your grocery store and everyone around you starts singing to you. It was crazy and weird and amazing all at the same time. Aaron kind of tapped his walking stick along with the rhythm of the song, and at the end we all just laughed and waved and smiled and went on our way.