Saturday at Chuluchosema means the Saturday Feeding Programme (every week) and the Agogo Club (once a month). We were fortunately able to attend both yesterday.
The Saturday Feeding Programme is for young people who learn useful skills like sewing and knitting and they are provided with a meal by the church. Since there is no electricity, they use Chinese versions of traditional Singer sewing machines.
We were instituted as honorary members of the Agogo club. Agogo is the Chichewa word for grandparents, although the club is for anyone over 60. The oldest member is 96 and most of them are between 60 and 80. Previously, a lot of older people were isolated in the village with limited opportunities to meet up.
The club starts with a brief time of shared worship, followed by announcements then shared stories. One of the group (an 86 year old retired teacher called Alan) is a herbalist and he showed the group some plants and spoke about their medicinal properties. After this we joined in the exercises. These started with stretching and movements and then we were put into pairs and took turns to pound each other on the back. We were asked to lead part of the exercise session and taught the Hokey Kokey to the group, much to their amusement. To finish there was a shared meal and the opportunity for the Agogo to visit the nurse in the clinic. This service is provided by Silas’ wife, Margaret, who was assisted by Nicola.
A free afternoon allowed some of us to have a rest while others had a not totally successful attempt to walk into town. Although they didn’t find the market, they did find their way back to the hotel.
The surreal experience for the evening was preparing for tomorrow by all (or at least all who were not giggling too much) singing “Spirit of God, unseen as the wind” and “Our God is a great big God” in the hotel restaurant.
Today we will join in the Sunday service and sign the partnership agreement.