July 11, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
This weekend I’ve spent a good amount of time with the Don Bosco Deacons. These are young men studying to become priests. It has been a lot of fun talking with them. They speak very good English and they are all so nice. They also want me to teach them the flute. I’m waiting on Abba Steffano to discuss music classes with them. He’s currently in Addis Ababa.
I’ve gone to their house for dinner several times over this weekend. I appreciate the company and laughter I’ve been able to have with them. They invited me to attend the celebration mass at the Cathedral in Adigrat for Abba Deitmar, a German priest, who is celebrating his 50th year of priesthood. I accepted the offer and went to mass this morning in the Cathedral.
I love going to the Cathedral and spending time in their. I especially love the mass. The mass always begins with chanting and drums being played. But this time because it was a celebration mass the drums were going strong and the priests were dancing in the back of the church. I sat in the back row and turned around to watch them. It was so jubilant and fantastic to listen to I had to take a look. Really there isn’t anything to describe how interesting it is to watch an African dance and drum. It’s an experience to watch. As Sr. Mary and I watched I leaned into her ear and said, “This is what I love about Ethiopia; no where else can you enjoy this experience!” She agreed with me. Then the procession of priests began. This is also an experience to see.
After the 3+ hours of mass we went to the major seminary’s open square to have tea and biscuits for breakfast. All the priests, the sisters, and family members join together in this celebration. Abba Deitmar’s family was there from Germany too. It was fun to watch this family be terrified of eating this food and drinking tea out of old cups. I enjoyed as the wife of Abba Dietmar’s nephew constantly turned down food and tea as the priests continued to push it on her.
In the afternoon we were invited to the luncheon. We, is meaning, all the community of sisters and priests, and since I am staying in Gol’a with Sr. Mary, I get to be one of the invitees. I ended up sitting across from the German family. I laughed out loud as I watched them sniff the injerra and the dorowet meat sauce. They turned it down and only drank coke and bread. I ended up starting a conversation with them and shared the reason I’m laughing is because I remembered when I was so afraid of the food. I wouldn’t eat anything. I think this made them feel more comfortable but I guess this family will dine on coke and bread for the week.