Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quote of the Day:  "The poor and the children have much to teach us."  Mother Teresa

One of the facets of the culture we live in here is that every Friday is "Alms Day" when we are to give coins to the poor whenever they ask.  I hate carrying coins, especially since all the coins here are almost worthless for what we normally spend.  In fact, we rarely ever have paper money in denominations less than 5,000 Tsh, while the coins are worth 20 to 200 shillings.  Twenty shillings is worth about $ 0.02.  That's right, just two cents yet there are lots of things the poor can buy for two cents.  Thus, every Friday, we try to have a pocketful of coins to give away.  It always reminds us of how well off we really are.  The coins we don't give away have a use, too.  Every Saturday, when Charlini comes over, she reminds us that the next day is Sunday.  This is a coded way of asking for coins for her to put in the offering.  It makes her feel very good to march up to the altar and put coins in the basket.  She likes more than one coin for the music (her word) that they make when she drops them in on top of the other coins in the basket.  So, every Saturday, we are also armed with coins for Charlini who always tells us that the coins are for "kanisa"--church.  Another good reminder of how we are to live.
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