Namikango Mission

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A New Experience

May 9, 2014

By Becca Hayes

The Noisy Season

Have you seen the movie, How The Grinch Stole Christmas? I feel like the Grinch when I complain about the noise, Noise, NOISE! I can’t stand all the noise in our area. And this noise is something new. We live in an area on the edge of a forest.

If you ask any Malawian what their staple crop is, the answer will be maize (corn). During the rainy season, a sea of tall growing maize surrounds most houses. They roast it and eat it off the cob, but mostly, they grind it into maize flour and use it to make a thick porridge similar to stiff grits, called nsima which they can eat by hand. This is a common food not only in Malawi, but in most African countries. After harvesting the maize, they shuck it and pick each kernel off. Then they dry it and grind or pound it into coarse flour. For centuries this has been done by hand by the women. But recently modern progress has entered the picture. Now there are maize mills, which take about five minutes to grind a load of maize into flour.

Recently, a maize mill was built across the road from our home. In case you don’t know about this business, it is very loud. We can hear it from the house beginning at sun up until sun down. If you ask one of the Malawians in the area about it, they say how thankful they are to have a good maize mill so near. The mill is quite busy.

Ben and I have to laugh at how we complain about the noise, but considering the way of life of the people who use it, it has been a huge blessing.