Monday, December 16, 2013

News of the Day

Shaban was gone for over a week but is back now.  His wife has dangerously high blood pressure (kills many African women), and he had to go to Dar Es Salaam to get her a year’s supply of medicine and meet with her doctor.  I tried to buy him a plane ticket, but he asked for the money instead because it is so expensive for him in Dar Es Salaam and the medicine is also expensive.  He had to ride a bus for eighteen hours each way.  He had planned to stop by his village on the way back, but the doctor he needed to meet was out in the bush, so he had to wait for him to get back and missed out on his village visit.  Shaban’s bus rolled into Bunda Sunday morning at 2:00 A.M.  He was happy to be back and to have gotten his wife’s medicine.  We really missed him.  He texted me from the bus when he was about ten hours out and asked for prayers which we readily supplied.  Juliana’s sister-in-law died about three weeks ago, but two days ago, her sister-in-law’s daughter gave birth to a healthy baby girl—mother and daughter are doing fine.  The biggest news is that our nearest neighbor who we really like, had a wedding for his daughter.  They do weddings big here.  It started with a two-day and two-night party with music, food, dancing, and lots of women ululating—you’d have to hear it to appreciate it.  We didn’t do much sleeping and John and Juliana even went over yesterday to give the bride a gift and get some film of the festivities.  Here in Tanzania, the groom has to pay for everything—including the bride.  It’s the rainy season so John and some of our staff had to help out digging cars out of the mud.  The wedding was this morning, but the cars couldn’t get into the house, so a man carried the bride in her beautiful white dress through the mud until he could get her to the waiting car.  We also helped out by buying four of the plastic chairs for the guests—another local tradition.  For one wedding, I even bought one of the cows to pay for the bride (she demanded five of them).  Things have quieted down now, so we are getting back to normal except for Charles, one of our workers who got attacked by a cat and had his leg injured badly enough for him to miss work for a couple of days.  I paid the doctor and bought the medicine, but Charles is such a good worker, it was a pleasure to be able to help.  One day, I may get to the point where it is a pleasure to help even if I don’t like the person.  Jesus could do that, but I am not yet there—trying, but not yet there.

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