As in a good part of our time on this earth we look for beauty and as the poet said:  “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  The moon always catches my eye and it is  full and brilliant now as it is for you ~ BEAUTIFUL.  We just saw it first.   Jessie caught a lovely sunset last evening. In our part of Tanzania one has to seek beauty in barreness and dirt and scruffy low lying prickly bushes.  We walked on a dirt road about 3/4 of a mile to the home of Mama Tuppa’s for supper last night.  I covered my face when trucks went by to dissuade the dust from clinging to my skin, hair and nostrels.  We often see little children with dust up to their knees from walking the dirt paths daily.  Water is seldom available to them for baths.  We are fortunate to have water in our house ~ even though a trickle, so the bath is an adventure, one not to be entered into lightly, comprised of a plastic wash bowl, the green buckets and a plastic water pitcher.  I feel very fortunate to have this way of cleaning myself.  Jessie reminds me that a little dirt never hurt anyone.  We sure didn’t mind it as children ~ remember mud pies?

Games parks are full of majestic and beautiful animals and we have had that pleasure in past years, but not this year. We found beauty in the Rainbow Lizard but I’m happy that he stays outside, contrary to some of the other critters.  Jessie is definitely pro-life where bugs are concerned when I just want to zap them.  I suppose most are harmless other than causing heart attacks when they appear suddenly and move like a flash of lightening.

When all is said and done, beauty comes from within and we see it daily in the faces of the people with their ebony-colored skin, their warmth and hospitality and their humor.  We tell stories to Moses that don’t seem all that funny to us and he laughs until the tears run down his cheeks.  Maybe they laugh at us for our not so African ways.  We do things on schedule; such as church starts at 9:00 or 10:00 or 11:00 in America, but here it starts when everyone arrives.  We arrived in Chilonwa Village around 9:30 yesterday but we were served tea and chipatis first after many warm greetings.  The  service lasted about 3 1/2 hours with incredible dancing and singing.  Daniel did a wonderful job of translating my sermon.  Then Holy Communion.  It was moving to see blind people being led to the altar or their hands being guided to the little glasses of wine.  That was beautiful.  Somehow, I wish Jessie could photograph my shaking hands with everyone who comes out of the church.  My old white hand in some very black hands speaks of unity to me.  This too is beauty.  If we seek we find even in what sometimes seems a god-forsaken place but they don’t think so.  They say “God is good.”  So much is in my heart this morning.  It was a long and full day yesterday but fulfilling and holy.  Love from Tally

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