Wednesday, November 21, 2007

African Mourning

A few days ago the wife of one of the teachers passed away suddenly. I'd never had a chance to meet her (Mrs. Phiri), but she was a valued member of the community here. Last night we could hear the grieving coming from the house - a symphony of wails and cries from the family and friends, in unearthly tones that carried on for at least half an hour. I think that this kind of mourning is very healthy because the whole family and community comes together to support each other, and everyone has a chance to get out their grief in one torrent of emotion... This morning I was thinking about one of Baha'u'llah's Hidden Words, "to the true lover, reunion is life and separation is death." So really, if you are a spiritual person, one could regard our existence in this world as death, and our 'death' as the beginning of our true lives. That was my thought of the day :)

Amy and I have started a Ruhi Book 5 circle, training some of the youth to become animators of Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment groups. These are world-wide initiatives, aimed at helping young teens develop their power of expression, which helps their understanding of reality, and helps them form their own moral structure. It's my first time facilitating a Ruhi book, but so far it's going well!

One funny story I have is last night at Ruhi, there was a HUGE "safari ferrari" on the wall, which is basically a spider-like insect that moves FAST. So this creepy-crawly was as long as my finger and quite plump and juicy. But I managed to trap him in a tuperware and take him outside (he was much to big to fit into my dad's nifty bug-catcher...) In terms of my development here, I'm becoming very resilient to the presence of bugs. Normally if a bee buzzed within a 1 meter radius of my head, I would duck and run screaming for cover! Now I hardly flinch.

Otherwise, everything is fine! The school will close in 3 weeks (so fast!!) and soon we'll know what our jobs are and which dorms we'll be in for next year. My plans for the holidays to Livingstone and South Africa are taking definite shape, and soon Amy's mom will be here for a short visit!

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