Contrary to Thomas Wolfe’s great novel, one CAN go home again.  I am feeling  in my bones that I am home.  To be welcomed so warmly by staff and students does something to my heart and soul.  Of course, some of our students and friends have graduated and moved on to serve as priests in different dioceses.    But many remain, continuing their studies.  Classes began yesterday. 

It’s amazing how quickly one changes directions and settles into a simple life-style with no TV, no car, not a lot of food, a few simple outfits (it doesn’t take long to choose our wardrobe for the day ~ although we start out early in heavy sweaters and even gloves but by noon day we are down to short-sleeved t-shirts).  It’s a most modest season of comfort.   We have no radio and a little Mozart would be nice, but the Africans have such melifluous voices that I am quite  content to listen to them.  I sat next to Charles in Chapel yesterday and what a rich, soul-filled voice he has.  The one possession that we haven’t quite divorced ourselves from is the computer, although I didn’t have mine up and running until yesterday afternoon and it was almost freeing.  Instead, we walked the same paths we have walked for over 2 years now, we read, we talked to Sandy and Moses and of course to one another.  We are in our same duplex but this year we have a neighbor, a woman from New Zealand.  I’m told that she is one cracker-jack of a preacher.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

There was a staff dinner on Sunday night to kick-off the term and I felt we were in a small gathering of the United Nations.  We have teachers from England, New Zealand, Kenya, India, Tazmania, the U.S. and 3 of the cutest lads from Scotland you’ve ever seen.  We figure they will turn a few of the young ladies’ heads.  Of course they look like they are 12 years old but all have recently graduated from St. Andrew’s College.

Jessie remains an innovative cook, making something delicious out of very little.  She began to make beans and rice (a staple here) last night but we didn’t have any rice, so we put the beans back for another meal and she made scrumptious grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches which are among my favorite things on earth.  

And so we have begun this third leg of our journey into Africa.  We laughed a bit the other day when we said that anyone who cannot deal with change should move to Dodoma.  Not much has changed here in Lord knows how many years.  More and more I am convinced that education is the key to improving  life here.  Still, they know a lot more about relationships than we.  I watched 2 women in their brightly colored kangas standing under a tree on the path yesterday talking, just passing the time-of-day.   They could have been women at the well saying: “Jesus might pass by today.”  Or they may have said it was a pleasant day and that life is good.  They are happy, grateful people with no doubts at all about God’s goodness. 

 

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