Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Trip with the Pastor

I went out with Pastor Hafermann as planned today.  We travelled a few hours to get there and were late, so no time for tea.  We went straight in to church.  It is a nice feeling beginning to understand more of a church service.  Secondly, this past week I learned all the number up to 10,000 and the word for "page number" and "hymn."  So, I can follow along a little easier this weekend. 

In Masaai culture, guests are served a meal, regardless of home many times they have already eaten.  Therefore, we had one meal after the service, a second on visiting the home of a church elder, and a third on visiting a sick friend of the church.  All the meals were rice and goat-fat stew, which is really good, but too much of a good thing...well, you know the story.  Needless to say I went without dinner when I got back.

On a more serious note, I encountered AIDs for the first time today.  It is one thing to read about it, or know of it in America where it is isolated and well-treated.  But seeing it untreatable here in Tanzania was something I was not prepared for.  I met a man who had surgery for a staff infection and is on crutches now, who has taken in the children (it appeared as many as 7) who were recently orphaned by the death of their parents who both from AIDs.

Today's experiences have certainly given me new perspectives, both on the advantages we have in the US that we take wholistically for granted, but also, I was struck by the level of such happiness and contentment felt by the people I met today.  With a life expectancy of about 45 and illness and death a part of everyday, these people still manage joy.  It was something unbelievable to witness, and I will not forget it.

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