My Mom Would Not Approve

11 09 2012

When I was in Africa last year, my friend Stefan got onto me for being a bit too bold in getting out of the car in the Serengeti and stumbling on some hippos and crocs.  Now between the two you have to know that you really don’t want to mess with hippos.  More people are killed by hippos than any other animal in Africa.  Stefan said, “your mother would not be happy with you right now”, in his wonderful German accent.  You can read that story on this blog, I think it is titled “Almost and African Accident”.

I frequently think of other things my mom might have commented on during my life in America, that are a regular part of living in Africa now.  The first that comes to mind is eating with my fingers.  Well, that is simply the way it is done around here, but not at the Roseberry house growing up.  I have even been taught by my host Mzray, how to roll ugali up in my hand like a little golf ball and then punch a dent in it so I can scoop juice from other foods into it.  And all this is done with ONLY the right hand.  The next is baths.  Let’s just say I don’t take them very regularly anymore.  They are a treat now and not a regular daily occurrence.  I do shave every other day whether I need it or not.

Growing up if you opened the milk carton, yes milk was in cartons back then, and the milk was sour and especially if it had chunks in it you poured it out with a turned up nose.  Here it is a delicacy called Mtendi.  I have gotten use to it.  It seems to be the only milk I can get cold regularly.  Maybe they just save the spoiled milk for Mzungus.  But I don’t think so.  The locals love it too.  But I can’t help but wonder where the fresh milk is.  No matter, none of it is homogenized, so who  is to say which is better or safer.

Jogging here probably has a higher risk factor than bull fighting in Mexico.  Whereas my mother never forbid running the locals are horrified that I am running on these treacherous roads.  They are hilly, sandy, and shared with bikes, motorcycles, walkers, buses, cars, tuk tuks and the occasional donkey. And just so you understand the vehicles have total ride of way and there are almost NO pedestrian walk ways except on large four lanes roads and even then vehicles frequently charge down them to save a few seconds.  And yes even there they have the ride away.  They are nice enough to honk at you rather loudly if they are about to hit you or scare you to death to give you a deer in the headlights chance at living to fear another day on the roads.

Then there are the obvious things that folks in the mission field do that moms warned their little boys about all their lives.  Don’t talk to strangers, and don’t go into “that” part of town.  Needless to say “that” part of town is exactly where I want to be.  That is where the least of these reside.

So I grin almost every day thinking of all the things I do that my mother would never have approved of when I was growing up.  Just don’t tell her.  I may be 55 now, but every little boy has to keep some secrets.




2 responses

11 09 2012
Pat Roseberry

Your secret is OUT! Boy have you been found out! Just like when you were a little boy, you can’t get away with anything. You are grown now and know the Lord, so i am just going to entrust you into His care. He can take care of you a lot better than i ever did. (Remember all the stories you and Van told me after you were grown.) And, i know with assurance He speaks to you all the time. So just have this word for you, LISTEN TO HIM!
Love you forever, Mom

14 09 2012

LOL! Busted! It is nice to know that you are adjusting, assimilating, nicely into the culture. I am glad someone said something to you about running off and the likes. Wild animals are dangerous; I hope that you know that now. Please pray for missionaries in other parts of the country now, and you take care! Later.

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