"In America, you have watches: Here, we have time."
(Father Bernard, Kenya)
"A Taste of Africa," last Saturday after Mass, was more of a crash course in Kenyan table etiquette and culture than a chance to establish personal connections with David and Benina, the folks who were visiting from Kenya.
Which is okay by me.
I'd have considered it time well spent, if all I'd walked away with was that quote.
I'm a Catholic - but I'm also an American. I grew up in this country, and absorbed much of the culture. Although I'm all too aware of details that need to be changed, on the whole I think that America, and the way we get things done, is okay.
On the other hand, I also know that folks in many parts of the world aren't nearly as time-conscious and twitchy as we are. And I think that's okay, too. (August 26, 2010)
Getting Together With Folks From Another Parish
David, someone from this parish, and Benina, and the pulpit in Our Lady of the Angels. September 18, 2010.
I'm glad I went. I now know what ugali tastes like (delicious), know that the maize paste reminds me of something from childhood, and took a few photos. A tip of the hat to Erik Rivers, who took this picture: I'm the bald guy in the center of the picture, and am used to being on the other side of the lens.
Benina and folks from the parish in Our Lady of the Angels basement. September 18, 2010.
(That photo shows a very uniform, homogeneous group of people. We're all Catholic.)
Ugali. Maize paste and greens. Delicious. Our Lady of the Angels basement. September 18, 2010.
I don't know how much Saturday's get-together will count in the particular judgment of each of us. It's a little hard to imagine that what happened in the basement of that central Minnesota parish church will have all that much impact: either on this world, or on the world to come.
But I think it was worth spending time from a few minutes after six to about 7:40 p.m. or so (we ran longer than planned). I've learned a bit more about how my fellow-Catholics live, in their parish in western Kenya. And I've got a prayer opportunity: but that's a topic for another post.
- "Ugali, Kenya, and Sauk Centre, Minnesota"
(September 19, 2010)
- "Unity, Diversity, and Being Catholic"
(August 26, 2010)
- "The Catholic Church: Universal. Really"
(April 19, 2010)
- "Experiences in Homa Bay"
(July 19, 2009)
- "Migori, Kenya, and Sauk Centre, Minnesota: Pencils, Partnership and Prayer"
(July 19, 2009)