What this is about:

Tales and Tidbits about Community Development, Peacebuilding, and Bringing food for the hungry on a continent in my spirit and a world away.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Three Things.

On the way home from Gitarama, a man crawled onto the bus into the seat in front of me. His shoulder lay bare from the heat of the day and he held his dusty jacket on his lap. He sat next to Hazel and greeted her "Muraho!" slightly interested that he was sitting mext to a Mzungu. His shoulder was the shadow of a whole shoulder. It was gnarled and small from the many blows of something sharp. Up his neck and the back of his head were the healed scars of that same sharp object. Whatever had happened had handicapped him in a way that he couldn't walk on his feet anymore--he had to move on his cushion-covered knees. The man across the aisle stole disturbed glances at him every now and then.
That man knew what it was from.
It's something you just know.

It's moments like this where the existence of Genocide comes back to you and you wonder, confused, about the phantom-like skill this event utilizes for cover, in a country so beautiful, in a country that says it has moved on.
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TREE OUTFIT Day/Thanksgiving was SOO much fun. All of us were feeling kind of poopy and putting on our best this-day-doesn't-really-matter-to-me-faces because we honestly didn't know what to do with the absence of turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and someone familiar for Thanksgiving. There were no greens, for gods sake. I don't even like pumpkin pie; but seeing some would have been comforting. We had to admit it: we were corporately kind of homesick.
But then we put on our tree outfits (brown on the bottom, green on the top), took pictures and became each other's family. We filled in the spots of absence by sharing our creativity and intentional joy, like we did for Sarah's birthday. I never laughed so hard.
We enjoyed ourselves in our weird little creation of a holiday because it took our minds off of ourselves and directed it towards being together; being ridiculous together. No one will ever understand how much we love those photos and how hilarious we think they are (because admit it, tree clothing holidays are kind of weird but Hazel's face in the family photo is .so. good); they mean a lot to us. We meant a lot to each other that day. We mean a lot to each other now---this is why we have to tell the rafting story nothing short of five hundred times and will continue to tell it to others in every future form of communication. I wasn't even in their raft. My feast table voiced our thanks about this semester and sang annoying Sunday School songs about joy, with hand-clapping of course. And then we watched "It's Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown" to finish the evening.
I had one of the best Thankgivings of my life without collard greens and macaroni & cheese. [Beware, banality coming] I didn't need them. I had my family.
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First day of Advent reading: Isaiah 42:1-4

Here is my servant, the one I support. He is the one I chose, and I am pleased with him. I have put my spirit upon him and he will bring justice to all nations. He will not cry out or yell or speak loudly in the streets. He will not break a crushed blade of grass or put out even a weak flame. He will truly bring justice; he will not lose hope or give up until he brings justice to the world. And people far away will trust his teachings.

1 comment:

abigail said...

I thought about you over thanksgiving and I wondered how you were feeling spending it away...
makes me miss you.