At dinner, we made a plan for three teams to each visit an outstation, leaving at 6:30 a.m. for services at 7:00 a.m. The teams were not in order of importance! Team 1: Fr. Yohana, Mario and me; Team 2: Fr. Andrzej, Joseph and Gervas; and Team 3: Br. Michael and Selestine. My team went to the outstation in Tarani.
Fr. Yohana had brought some balls and an air pump from Poland for the young people at the Tarani outstation. One of the things that is different at the Eucharist in Tanzania is that people bring their offering individually to a place where they deposit it into a container before the altar table. You could imagine that this adds to the length of the liturgy as each person—many of whom are dancing—move in procession to make their offering. Then the money is taken to the back of the church, and it is presented with other gifts of offering: eggs, soda, cabbages and other vegetables, papaya and other fruits, bread, water, etc. It really embodies the “fruit of the earth” and the offerings from their daily lives. They have a second “Thanksgiving Offering” after communion.
After Mass, we got back into the pickup truck and drove back to the parish church in Buhemba for the 11:00 a.m. Mass. One of the interesting aspects of the trip to the outstation is that Fr. Yohana would stop along the way to pick up the altar servers who were walking to the outstation. I think we had three or four of them in the back by the time we got to Tarani. Then we gave a lift to several more people back to the main church. With the rough roads and long distances, people are accustomed to travel in this way. I was hoping that I would be able to keep my seat in the truck and not have to stand in the back!
We were running late, but all three teams were able to gather for the Mass at the main church in Buhemba, called Biatika. Fr. Andrzej was the presider and preacher. We were ready!
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