She got what she had not bargained for
The Standard, Sunday 18 September 2011
Last year I spent two months in Australia. My experiences there varied from meetings and preaching in different places. My highlights were spending some time with Aboriginal people who were kind and welcoming.
One experience is worth sharing. I met this young Australian who had been to Africa. She had all the praise for her lifetime trip to motherland-Africa. I used to explain to people there that if they had not been to Africa, it meant they had not been home. Africa is the cradle of humanity and all and sundry must pay a pilgrimage home, at least once in lifetime.
She spent three weeks in rural Uganda and her experience was out of this world. She slept on the floor in huts and it was fun to her. At one place she shared a sleeping bag with a local girl. They did not sleep that night because they were talking and laughing the whole night. This was to be her experience in most of the places she visited.
After three weeks she was shocked to discover that on her last day, there was a party in her honour. The food was basic but well cooked. She no longer remembers how many chickens she ate. The practice was that at each village she visited they had to chase a chicken and a few hours later they would be enjoying the road-runners of Africa.
One pertinent issue she raised was the preparations the simple rural folk made for her send off. She was given a number of live chickens to carry to town for onward consumption. Neighbours brought eggs for her to take to town. She could not refuse the offer.
The people actually organized that someone would accompany her to town with the heavy parcels. She had brought nothing to this community except her love. In return she got what she had not bargained for. Such was the love of the people she had visited for the first time.
To her surprise, when she got to town she had an opposite experience. Instead of the well to do people she was staying with showering her with goodies she was given list after list of things to buy and send back for the up and coming youngsters of Kampala. They would ask for laptops, iPods, etc. Some even asked for plasma TV sets.
The question she wanted me to answer was, why such behaviour on the part of those who have, yet those who did not have gave much?
The answer I gave her was that those in rural areas loved themselves and those in towns hated themselves. Am I right to suggest that those who love themselves give and those who hate themselves ask for gifts?
Rev Dr Levee Kadenge