Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Different World

Today, I rode in the back with a few other people drove out to a Bible meeting out in the bush. Linda Gregersen, who drove, didn't know the location of the place, so we followed someone who did on his Honda motorcycle. The roads kept getting smaller and smaller, until we were driving on a cow path at the last.

The meeting had already started. I walked into the little meeting room and found a place to sit on the men's side. The 'pew' was a raised bench about the height of a cinder-block, plastered over with a sandy covering. My knees just barely survived when we stood for a song.

But when the singing started -- I was overwhelmed by the sound and the vibrance of the voices. Certainly the thatched roof was hardly the best acoustics, but it was a wonderful hymn, although sung in Tonga, I hardly had a clue what the words were.

After a break, the men, about 20 of us, gathered under the shade of a tree and several hours of lessons ensued. They were translated, probably for my sole benefit, and dealt with church leadership. It was the same sermons I'd heard growing up, with the same scriptures quoted. Luckily my ipod had the bible loaded, or I'd have been really out of place.

I contributed little, but they were gracious. During lunch, I was offered some of their staple dish, sort of like corn meal cooked into a very thick mound. You break off some, roll it in your hands and eat it.

On the way back, our guide wasn't available, but I'd recorded the route on my GPS, so we found our way back to the main roads.

All in all, an interesting introduction to the Zambian bush.

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