Sunday, December 03, 2006

Thursday: Missions is no picnic...except today

Continuing to catch up:

My first assignment was to meet with 3 different HIV/AIDS support groups offered by Living Hope. I found out on the way (running late due to my ride locking her keys in the car) that the 3 successive meetings had been combined into one, and it was a braai (barbecue) at a park on the shore of a small lake near the ocean in Muizenberg. They were honoring a gentle-voiced young man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo named Jean Paul. He had been working with the groups closely as an internship and has completed his studies and moved to an admin position with Living Hope coordinating the groups.

Instead of a steel/wood structure near each braai, there was a small circle of trees for shade. Very African! When I arrived there were about 25 people lounging about in knots. One older man was playing accordion and leading a group in singing their favorite songs in various accents. Most of the songs pre-dated me by a decade or two. I sat down to listen. They did "The Tennessee Waltz" even before finding out I was a Tennessean; fun to hear that in such a remote place and context. Some of the group participated in some games provided by a local young woman named Kaarin who came by on her off-time to volunteer.

Avril Thomas of Living Hope (my supervisor for this venture) and Jean Paul addressed the group and I sang about 3 songs, and we ate. I played a few more afterward, and we were done for the day. Good times.

1 comment:

Yzerfontein said...

Welcome to South Africa and thanks for sharing your story.