Mrs. Mono

Mrs. Mono is gifted.  She is a seamstress who can literally  make anything. I have been hearing about her talents over the years from Dan & Beckie and the students  so I was sure to purchase something.  Mrs. Mono lives next door and was eagerly awaiting her potential customers. Beckie and I were first.  We  got first pick of her goods: purses, wallets, headbands, aprons, rugs, covers for i-pads, and if she didn't have what you want, she will make it for you to perfection -- and in record time! Mrs. Mono certainly lived up to and exceeded my expectations ... and her salesmanship abilities match her sewing talent! When she was  very young Beatrice Mono's mother sent her to sewing school for two years. Her first job was making uniforms for the school children. She uses a 1950's sewing machine which was originally purchased for repairs of the tents for the medical mission. Mrs. Mono admitted that she sleeps very little and prefers to sew at night so she can work uninterruted.  Some of her profits go to The Mission and some help send her family through school.  Mrs. Mono's husband is a teacher but we didn't meet him during our stay.  They have four sons and a daughter.  Two of the sons went to college and one son is married and has a child. The family also raises chickens and grows tomatoes, so they certainly have an entrepreneurial spirit! For the first time since Beckie has been coming to Namwianga Mrs. Mono invited her for dinner and I was invited! Wow! Dinner out on Saturday night! Our hostess gifts for  Mrs. Mono included  a small calculator and a collection of buttons. I also presented her with a silver metal fish with the engraved words, "Jesus said, follow me and I will make you fishers of men". I explained that my father designed this little fish, had them mass produced, and gave them to many people.  I told her it was an honor for me to give her one -- the first in Africa!   Mrs. Mono's table had been set and was covered with a white lace cloth. I felt that she was proud to unveil her specially prepared food but I think she was more proud to have us sitting at her table. The meal began with the traditional hand washing. Mrs. Mono placed a large empty bowl in front of me, and as I sat at her at her table she poured warm water over my hands and then Beckie's hands. She asked Beckie to offer a prayer then she served pan fried chicken, rice, potatoes, a sauce for the rice, slaw with tomatoes, and lemonade. As we enjoyed each other's company I sensed the deep respect that each of us share.  Mrs. Mono expressed her gratitude to Beckie for making the efforts to sell some of her products. She repeatedly said, "You are blessed."  After dinner Beckie was presented with a beautiful hand made skirt and she gave me one of her famous purses.  We assured Mrs  Mono we will visit one more time before we leave The Mission.  I have a friend in Zambia!

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I am a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist with 36 years of experience and I am about to embark on the experience of a lifetime!

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