Sunday 19th July 2015
Today was a day of contrasts. This morning we attended the local church which was a classic African church experience. Overflowing with people, women in bright colours holding babies, singing, dancing, music (guitars, keyboard and a drum machine) to make your ears vibrate and a 45 minute sermon.
Afterwards we were invited to the church office for tea and bread. (You dip the latter in the former) Ugandan bread looks dry but isn’t – it is also slightly sweet and nice when soaked in tea. It took me a minute or two to realise that “the old gang” from March was back together. That was Bishop Simon Peter, his assistant Franco, (both from Kampala but coincidentally here in the Kumi area), Gilbert our local pastor, Richard and myself. The only new one was Amy. The last time the old gang had met together was at Di’s cremation service. So I was able formally to thank them for what they did that day. I was able to tell them about the celebration service we held in April. Amy was able to tell them what a joyful event it was and it felt to me that a book about that cremation day had now been closed.
This afternoon we visited some rather old art. About 5000 years ago wandering hunter / gathers from Abyssinia were in the area and painted designs on the walls of some caves. Pictures of canoes, ladders, animals, hands and the Sun. One Sun design shows an eclipse. Astronomers and archaeologists have been able to fix the date fairly accurately. I think this is the oldest picture I have ever seen (well, that’s what I wrote in the visitors’ book)
I have invented a new word: ETLIA. It means “Everything Takes Longer In Africa”. I have written it on the front of my notebook to remind me. The reasons it takes longer are (a) because people are so friendly and chatty, (b) because it’s so hot and I move more slowly and (c) “hey – this is Africa – we take life more easily here”
So….. end of week number one..…all going OK and as planned although quite tiring. Many thanks for all your good wishes and support. This time next week we shall be meeting 12 new arrivals from the UK.