Let me preface this post with the fact that every Sunday I’m at site without something to do I go to church with a friend of mine. It’s under the pretense of cultural exchange but really I just enjoy singing really loud and they really enjoy having a “vazaha” as a church member. It’s win-win.
SO…About a month and a half ago, my church friend Mamaniando invited me to night time services. For some reason that’s still not clear to me, they have service the 11th of every month. But why have a 3and a half hour service the morning of the 11th when you can have a service that starts the night before and catches the first hour of the day. Especially when the congregation wants to use its new generator that has two light bulbs strung to the beams of the roof. PARTY!
It was a hectic day, and I’m not sure why I agreed to go at all anyway. I had to run home, wash off the dirt, eat a pitiful dinner of cold rice and mushy greens, and hurry over to church half an hour late and services already started. I tried to be stealthy and sneak in the back that way I could sneak out as well if I got too tired and wanted to leave. Trying to be anonymous and under the radar is not really possible when your church is a small shack and you’re the only white person that lives there, so they put me in my regular seat at the very front of the church.
At 8 pm, after an hour of pre-service service, they stopped to have dinner (wish I had known), and play BLARING music over the speaker system also being run on the generator. After an hour and a half break service resumed again, but this time it was more like a regular service. At about 12:30 the generator died and I thought to myself “alright, they’ll wrap up now, they don’t have that many candles.” However, they had more gasoline for the generator- so they kicked that sucker back on and resumed.
I kept looking at all the tired faces around me. I go to sleep at like 9 which is late on average for the residents around me, so I just kept wondering…
Why do they like praying so much? Can’t we go home already? It’s already 1…1:30…2.
Dear goodness they must be about done, I’m exhausted. They already did collection…LET’S GO ALREADY. Man I’m getting a little angry, they lied t me. They said the service would g t midnight. It’s already 2:15 and the pastor isn’t slowing up. Wait what did the pastor just say about me looking tired and angry? Why does he have to call me out. Alright Sara, pull it together. This isn’t so bad, you’re being insensitive and you really should have known…come on just rally!......Phew service is over. What time is it? 2:30!?!?! Man! Alright, let’s all go home now. Wait why is no one moving? Wait why are they fiddling with the speakers again? NOOOO, not the blaring music, anything but the blaring music. No one is leaving. Oy. That’s it, I’m going home. I live right next door. It’s a short walk…But I don’t want to make Mamaniando and her husband leave early to take me home. I’ll stick it out, but man this music is LOUD…Oy 3:10 already? It’s 6 hours past my bed time…
“Hey Mamaniando, when are you guys going home?”
“Oh we’re not going home until the morning.”
“Wait, what? You said this was til 12. I thought you’d be going home.”
“No, it’s not safe out right now, we have to wait for the sun. We can walk you home, you’re close. You look tired and mad. Do you want to go home? We’ll take you hme now. You need your sleep so you aren’t weak again tomorrow. Let’s go.”
…Wow, I feel a little offended by all the unintentional stabs you just took at me, but I am too tired, so yea, let’s go…
End of stream-of-consciousness.
|I got home at 3:45 that night and even though I could hear the music from the church reverberating in my house, I passed out and slept late until 7:30 am.
Even church goers don’t necessarily tell the whole truth all the time.
A society where all houses are shut by dusk time due to a fear of witches and bad spirits of the night will not walk home at 1 am, so they will just party until the sun rises.
Never EVER say yes to non Sunday church events ever again (outside of Easter).
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading this confusing blog.
PS thanks to lea and rachel for commenting on the previous blog