Thursday, May 23, 2013

Quote of the Day:   “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” ― William Shakespeare

One of the hardest things about living here is the physical absence of good friends.  All three of us have plenty of good, close friends--it's just that none of them live anywhere near us.  Thanks to the internet, Facebook, Google+, Google hangouts, and email, we can be in contact with our family and friends on a daily basis.  We can even have live, face-to-face encounters thanks to the internet as long as we have power and the internet which are not givens.  Still, we have been able to watch our grandchildren live on Christmas day and talk to both sons living in the U.S. on a regular basis.  This is, however, not the same as having a friend over for conversation and exchanging ideas, dreams, pet peeves, and jokes.  We enjoy many of our Tanzanian friends, of course, but language is a problem as is their lack of understanding of our culture and us theirs.  Having someone who knows what the Super Bowl is and what Starbucks sells is a special treat.  We do have other missionaries around us, but most are from other countries and the cultural thing still is a problem.  My closest good friend is in Arusha, an American expat who runs a free school and an orphanage.  We are both about the same age and lived through the sixties fighting for the same causes.  I only get to see him about once every two or three years, but we pick up right where we left off.  We both admire and respect the other.  As the MasterCard commercial says, that is priceless.  God bless your friends.  Love and cherish them.  They make you who you are and remind you when you start to drift away from what you know is right.  That's a true treasure.
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