These are the last hours we will spend now in Dodoma. We are without power or water and I am writing this on my phone – one last African reflection. I think all of us are sad. The kids have reveled, even today, in having such expanses of time to play with the friends whom they have made so easily here. From the local Tanzanian kids living in the houses around ours, to missionary kids from England, Australia and the U.S., their’s has been a summer of discovery in Dodoma’s very own global village. I am so very thankful for the richness of their experience.
For me, I am just struck by how much time people have given us. It is so fundamentally a relational culture here. On our recent visit to Kongwa, the principal of the theological college whom we just met casually one evening spent the better part of the next day with us. Another day, I was with the bishop and his family for 13 hours straight. And we have found that it is entirely normal here to stay with people for half or more of the day without a concern about time.
We were told this week that in Tanzania the day does not pass via the hours on a clock but by events. If an event takes a whole day then whatever else may have been planned for that day can always be done tomorrow. ‘There is always tomorrow’ – they sound like the words of someone who has gotten used to being on sabbatical. Yet, to have time for one another; that is one worth bringing home.
Thank you God, for this indescribable gift. Asante Sana, Tanzania.