Saturday, January 18, 2014
“You will never be alone if you like the person you are with when you are by yourself.” ― Jeffrey Fry
It took me most of my life to truly like myself, and I am not yet completely there, but closer than I have ever been. The quote above is absolutely true and is also why it is so hard for us to love our neighbors as ourselves—because we just don’t love ourselves very much. I am alone now. My lovely wife (see photo at the right) has returned to Bunda and the needs of our mission. I will be here by myself until my new passport returns from the U.S. (it is “en route” according to our embassy here). Karen left at 3:00 A.M. to drive from the hotel to the airport to make a six in the morning flight back to Mwanza. She made the flight just fine, and Shaban and John were waiting for her when she got off the plane at 7:30 this morning. I would rather be with her, but I am in the hands of American bureaucracy for the next few days. I really believe the passport will arrive on Monday or Tuesday, so I should be back in Bunda by Friday at the latest. With our money running out, I asked the hotel here to find me a cheaper hotel to which I could move while I waited, but they would have none of it. The staff here loves us (mostly Mama Africa I am discovering) and let me stay in the same room for half what we were paying which is a true blessing. The cheaper hotels are just not as safe. For example, while many Americans stay here, there is no American flag flying out front with the other fifteen flags. It is better to keep a low profile, if American, even though there have been no anti-American attacks here since 1998. I am spending today and tomorrow in my room. I had always heard about pedicures but never had one. It was a similar experience to the “deep tissue” massage, but at least with the massage there was no apparent blood. Here, I left blood on one towel from my toes and blood on the other from my heel. Either, the woman hated Americans, or she was just not very good at it. It was rather inexpensive, but I am now firmly against the so-called trappings of wealth, as in massages and pedicures. Because I am limping and bandaged, I called room service for breakfast and when they brought it, they told me there was no charge. Thank you, Mama Africa. Oh, I didn’t tell you that the pool boys gave her a gift of a coconut yesterday, since it was her last day in the pool. She was moved to tears by such a simple but heartfelt gift. I am glad we stayed here.