This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


We often hear about how having balance in your life is a good thing.
There should be some learning, physical, social, and spiritual aspects balanced in each of our lives to feel fulfilled and satisfied with how we spend our limited years here on earth.

In Zambia balance is demonstrated literally every day by women.
From the first day we arrived I could not help but notice women carrying many things on their heads.
Just try and put five or six big bunches of bananas on your head and walk a couple of miles.

It is a lifetime of practicing balance.

Women know that children are part of the balance in their lives.

Sometimes courtship must include balance.

Get the job done and move on.

Try moving lunch from the car to the table this way next time you go on a picnic, but be certain of your balance since both hands are occupied.

Mom keeps the family in balance as they move along.

I've seen everything but a child balanced on a head.

Little girls copy their mothers as they learn the art.

One of the big benefits of carrying things on your head is a beautiful posture.

Graceful and erect, those who carry things on their heads do not have slumped shoulders.

Grandma has hands free for safety.

Grain or maize for nshima is one of the most commonly carried items.

Who looks the most comfortable below?  Pure balance or hip slung out to one side and all the weight on one arm?

Sometimes, it is just easier to have one person balance something rather than struggle with two people walking sideways or one backward.

I didn't know if this child was worried about Mom's balance or was just fast asleep.

Sometime I think they are cheating if a hand goes up, but it still looks graceful.

This woman in the bush gave us directions and never blinked that a heavy bag of maize was on her head.

Speed can be accomplished, even in a balanced state.

These women had been at a funeral and needed to get the drums home.

Resting has nothing to do with what is on your head.  Pure balance lets you concentrate on other things.

Every day and everywhere this is the norm.

There isn't a dramatic struggle with each load, lugging items out of balance.  Quiet dignity prevails.

I am continually fascinated with this practice.

I would love to weigh some of their loads.

A month ago we finally bought a rug for our bedroom, probably 8' by 10' so my feet wouldn't get so cold on the tile.  We found one in the big marketplace downtown.  After all the negotiations were over they offered to carry it to the car but I told them I could manage.  I just put it on my head and headed out down the street.  Not many paid any attention but as I walked past some women sitting on a sidewalk selling items I caught them looking so I stopped and asked, "How am I doing?"  They finally laughed and I said I would get the hang of it in a week or two.  I did notice my shoulders were further back.