NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

The Importance of Laughter

on November 9, 2015

So while I was on the mission trip in Mozambique, I laughed a lot. Some people may think that hanging out with the same group of people for 2 weeks straight would be a nightmare, and it’s true that you can’t keep up appearances for that long. Eventually everyone gets upset or tired or stressed. But when you’re with a community, they can help you calm down, rest, or change your perspective on the situation. And one of the best ways we helped each other was by laughing. If you’re in a tough situation, and you choose to laugh instead of worrying or getting mad, the tension just dissipates. I’m so thankful for the many times I laughed with my team. So, I thought I’d share a few jokes or memories from the trip that our whole team laughed about. Enjoy!

C is for Cookie

One of the earliest jokes that entered our group was “Do you need a cookie?” It started when one of the team members started talking about how things would just come out of her mouth that she didn’t mean to say, and that maybe God had made her love eating so much so that she couldn’t say what crossed her mind. She just happened to be eating a pack of cookies when she was telling us all of this. So whenever someone in the group said something a little mean or inappropriate we would ask, “Do you need a cookie?” and immediately everyone would start laughing.

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Sarah writing her song about Mozambique

We also had a team member who loved to just burst into song at any moment, and it soon turned into a game. If a song came to mind because of a word or phrase that was said, he would just sing that line of the song. By the end of the trip I’m sure over 100 songs had been referenced by the whole group. And one girl had even decided to write her own song about her time in Mozambique.

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One of the beds that came with a mosquito net

One joke that I found particularly funny was when the girls were getting ready for bed one night. One girl named Whitnie had shared with us how on a past trip she had made the mistake of spraying insect repellent inside her mosquito net and then was caught in the fumes. I can’t remember if she shared it right before this next story happened or if she had shared it earlier in the week, but I remembered it and thought it was hilarious. So the girl on the bunk across from me asked if anyone had some bug repellent. I did, so I handed it to her and she put some on and crawled into her bunk for the night. Within a minute she started coughing and asked, “Can someone open the door to let it vent out in here?” The rest of us were already laughing at her mistake and then Whitnie said playfully, “No you sit in that poison and think about what you’ve done.” And we all laughed even more.

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The team waiting to go to the market

And the last story I’ll share happened when our missionary friends sent us to the market for some groceries. The plan was to get several items in order to make care packages to pass out throughout the trip and then fulfill the social interaction where you game something to a local and had a conversation with them. We were split into 3 teams and we soon decided that we were basically doing the Amazing Race. We rushed off to the market to find sugar, tomatoes and what I found out eventually was sweet potatoes. My team luckily found a man in the market that spoke English, so that helped us find out what sweet potatoes were. (Our list of what to get was written in Portuguese). The man also happened to be selling sugar (both white and brown). My team remembered seeing brown sugar in the missionaries’ home and it was cheaper, so we went with that. Then when we finished off our shopping we found a Granny (or caretaker of orphans) to give some money to and tell her Jesus loves you in their local language. (Jesu wakka rhandza wenu). I was really glad I had learned that phrase. Our team hadn’t run into the missionaries or translator so the only help we got was from people in the market.

However, when we met up with the two other teams, we found out they had done things a little differently. One team, that had finished first, thought they needed way more tomatoes than they actually needed to buy and asked the translator if that was correct. He laughed and told them no, so they got a little help from him. They also ended up buying the white sugar instead of the brown sugar. But otherwise everything had gone smoothly for them.

But the last team had the most hilarious adventure. They had bought tomatoes outside the market which I guess isn’t allowed in the country because Police came running out and took the produce the lady was selling. She got mad and started throwing tomatoes at the police. So when the police left that team went back and bought onions from the lady too because they felt sorry for her. By that time the translator realized they were not in the market so he guided them to where they were supposed to go. And they decided to buy some skirts (with their own money). And by the time they got back to the car with the other two teams they hadn’t even bought the sugar. So then they started trying to haggle with the other teams and trade some of their produce for sugar. It was hilarious. And in the end our 3 teams came to be known as “White Sugar,” and “Brown Sugar,” and “Got Sugar?”

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