Married Student Housing Visit by Barbara England

February 2022

On another day, I wandered over to the married student housing. The places where the married students and families live. There were women sitting outside, fixing their children’s hair, washing clothes, hanging laundry, doing all their tasks under the hot sun. As we walked down the sidewalk in front of the apartments, I noticed a shallow stone bowl-shaped slab with an oblong rock on it. They were grinding stones which are used to smash spices, onions, tomatoes, etc. to make sauces to cook with. I was drawn to a woman working with a grinding stone, and the aroma smelled delicious. She saw me and smiled, and as I drew closer I realized, I do the same thing with chopped vegetables in my kitchen. I have a blender, a Cuisinart food processor, and when I put everything in it and push a button, it blends everything together. My easier way (to push a button and let a machine do the work) contrasted to her simple (smash it on the stone outside in the sun) way of accomplishing the same task, a major contrast and a reminder of our very different experiences. While I stood there taking photographs, I stopped and savored the moment as the warm sun made the colors of her vegetables brilliant and the smell of the spices surrounded us. In my kitchen, when I hastily throw it all in the blender and push the button, I don’t really think about the moment or smell the aroma or savor the moment. Washing clothes at the married student housing. Over one-half of the students who attend the Bible training center are married. While the husbands are in class, the wives are engaged in Bible class, vocational training and taking care of the home.