Namikango Mission

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A Looking Glass

May 3, 2013

If a person is around something long enough, it will eventually have an effect on them. Now I can finally strap my baby girl on my back with a cloth. The first time I tried, I gave up. It takes practice to figure this one out. From the time a baby is a newborn until they are around two years old, a mother or older sibling or friend will carry babies on their backs. And from the time a girl is very young, I’d say about five or so, they carry siblings or other babies on their backs. It’s rare to see a boy or man do this. I will say there is something warm and natural about strapping a baby on to the mother. Sometimes women will work all day or walk miles and miles with their babies joyfully riding along. While I was walking along the road with Brooklyn strapped on, one lady told me it was good and that I was doing it the Malawian way. Another lady made a motion of a strong woman. An older man told me, “congratulations.” All in all, they were pleased at my attempt to adapt to their culture. In some ways, I think this small “looking glass” into the Malawian culture has shown me a way to pick up some easily adaptable traditions of theirs and provide more ways to relate to them. Braylon is happy to share the new experience

~Becca Hayes.