Thursday, October 25, 2012
Quote of the Day: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” ― William Shakespeare
About six years ago, a little baby boy was dying (an orphan from Bunda) and I was asked to pray for him. I went to the orphanage and held him and prayed for him and to the amazement of everyone, he didn't die. In fact, he is a healthy six-year-old now who is attending school here in Bunda. His name is Magesa, and so I have been called "Magesa" ever since which is a Jita tribal name. They later added "Mamba" as my last name, so I am better known as Magesa Mamba than by any other name for that matter. By the same token, the kids walking past our mission here have been calling Karen, "Mama Africa" for the same length of time, and she is better known as Mama Africa than she is as Karen. In fact, Karen is so well known as Mama Africa that there are places where I am known simply as Mama Africa's husband--even by other missionaries. So the other day, Lusi came by (still no baby) to tell us that if the baby was a boy, she would name him Magesa Mamba after me and if a girl, Mama Africa in honor of Karen. We were quite touched. Charlini is named after me (Charles) and there is a boy in Magongo that was given the first name of "Wiggins" when I baptized him. If the people here love you, they show it. Our neighbor, Bwana Jackson, came to see me yesterday to tell me that I had been elevated from being his best friend to now being considered as his brother which is another honor. Now a cynic would say that all this naming business was just to insure that we would give money to the families involved, and of course we have, but we don't see it as a quid pro quo. We see it as an honor and paying minor amounts for school fees is no different than if we were godparents back in the States. Still, you do live your life as a better person if there are children around bearing your name--even if that name is in Swahili. We are humbled and honored by it.