Lunch After Kizaru Matongo Outstation

Fr. Jim Donohue.

After fixing the flat tire, I thought we would be on our way. However, Br. Michael informed me that a family had prepared food for us. I thought that by now, they would have abandoned hope of our arrival, but one thing about Tanzanians is that they are PATIENT. So, they were waiting patiently for us to arrive. Here, you can see Br. Michael leading the way.

Many families have animals that roam around the grounds and are just part of the life of people.  Below are hens or chickens (called kuku in Swahili).

As we ate, there was a duck (called bata in Swahili) that was under the table looking for scraps.

The family was very gracious. I was not sure who the different children belonged to because many families are extended families. I also had the sense that there were some people who dropped by to see us.

The children are very sweet. At first, they are usually shy, but once I tell them my name, I ask them for their name. This is usually an “ice breaker” and there are plenty of laughs about names. For instance, one young girl told me that her name was Sophia. I asked her if she knew what this name meant. She said, “Sophia.” Obviously, a smart child! I told her that it was a Greek word that in English meant wisdom. I told her that she must be a very wise young person. She started to giggle, and I heard her tell another child that she was very WISE!

Once I start taking photos, everyone seems to want to be in the picture. People often want to see the photo and are usually delighted.

Speaking of chickens, we have a growing number of chickens at the parish. I think there were people working to enlarge the chicken coop. We also have chickens given to us at Mass or during pastoral visits. I confess that I do not understand much about the chickens. Some are in an enclosure, but some roam free.

There are some children who play football outside my room every afternoon. I noticed that they did not have a ball but were kicking some cloth that they somehow had tied together. The good news is that I bought a ball for them, and they were very happy. The bad news is that ball was not very good, and it only lasted three days. But they showed me that they were able to make another ball out of the remains and seemed happy enough with this. They play for hours, and I learned a Swahili word from my room: “Hapa!” (This means: “Here!” as in pass the ball “here.”)

I noticed that for every photo, they always made sure that the smallest boy was in the middle and was holding the ball. They told me that we had to take a “serious” photo and then a “real” photo. I said, “Okay.” This is what we got.

More to come on

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