dad came through the door with his fast paced
stride, always walking with a mission of
accomplishing the next task on his plate. He was
by no means a workaholic but he did work a lot I
remember. He always loved seeing us though when
he came home.
remember the movie was beginning to escalate
where Cary Grant kisses Grace Kelly and the
fireworks explode. Some, though we never saw
their face, quickly opened the door, and grabbed
one of our gifts from under the tree, then just
as quickly disappeared. We were baffled but once
again events like this were pretty common. Many
nights we spotted figures jumping the wall of
our backyard. Our windows were covered in thief
Africa Travel Story - the Saga Continues
Africa travel story isn't over yet.
it may sound dark, but that night we were
expected to attend the funeral ceremony of one
of the chiefs of the village where my parents
taught on Sundays. We drove down the long dirt
road. It was lined with tall elephant grass too
tall to see over standing up. Small colorful
birds hid in the grass and my siblings and I
would make a contest of counting how many blue,
yellow and red birds we could see.
sky was getting dark as we walked up to the
village. The village was composed of basic mud
huts. Cows, chickens, goats and skinny dogs
roamed the premises. The people were gathered
around one main hut. The dead body of the chief
was positioned sitting up in a large wicker
chief’s chair. His body was bound in multiple
layers of kentay cloth, including his face. A
pair of sunglasses sat over-top his eyes. I
remember standing there, holding my hands
together, unsure of what I was seeing.
large bonfire roared in the midst of everyone.
This was used for light to see. As the ceremony
progressed I grew bored as did many of the other
kids, and we all began hopping large dirt mounds
where peanuts grew, pretending if we didn’t land
on the mound we would fall a long long way down.
Finally it was time to leave in this Africa
travel story. The air was still that night, and
despite the darker feel of the evening somehow
my siblings and I were very much excited for
Christmas morning. We drove home back down the
dusty dirt road.
mom always made it very special for us on
Christmas morning. It took a lot of planning and
saving to pull this off. We did not have access
to candies, chocolates and nuts like in the
states, so mom would keep a small reservoir
stored up from the states just for this kind of
day. It was magical to me.
Sweet Memories Never Forgotten
Every year we had a secondary Christmas for our
Bible School attendees and their families. My
mom, my sister and I would spend hours making up
gift packs for each one of them. We had color
coded them, some for the women, some for the men
and some for the kids. It was incredibly fun
watching them open them up. It was amazing how
grateful they were for such small things.
living room would be overflowing with people,
most of us sitting on the floor to fit. We would
then have a movie time. One year we watched
Rogers and Hammerstein Cinderella, the one with
That was an amazing night I’ll never forget. I
remember the roar of laughter in the living room
as Whoopi made her jokes though out the movie. I
also remember when the scene played where
Cinderella steps out in the ball room and
everyone gasps at her beauty, one of our
students said loudly “It’s not the beauty that
is important, my friend, it is the heart!” I
will always remember his words.
thankful to have lived those years in Africa and
experience the colorful flare of the culture and
the scenery. My memories of these Africa travel
stories and of that place, of Africa, will
always remain deeply imprinted in my heart.