Day 4

Note our friends in the background.

Note our friends in the background.

Game Changer
Let me paint you the scenario. Matthew and I hadn’t washed since Thursday and, after our game of football yesterday we were really looking forward to a freezing cold shower this morning. However, upon waking at 5.30 this morning it was made abruptly clear that no such shower would be taking place today. “Sorry to tell you boys but the electricity’s gone off.” What an excellent start to the day that was. It seemed the facial wipes were to be used once again. Along with half a can of deodorant. Feeling fresh.
On the agenda this morning was two masses. One in the Seminary where we were staying and the other was in the local Parish. The latter was to be spoken in Chitumbuka, the local language. The mass in the Seminary was an hour and a half while the second was two and a half. It was strenuous to say the least. However the services over here are so much more joyful and interactive than our own: there’s singing and dancing and processions of women and children dancing up and down the aisles with great joy and appreciation. We should do things like that, if only we had the enthusiasm.
After a lunch with the priests, consisting of mashed potatoes, goat, chicken and a desert of bread pudding we headed off to the safari. I felt like I was in the lion king (minus Simba). After spending the full afternoon at the safari where we saw monkeys, hippos, impalas and elephants we headed back to a village near the Seminary. An experience I will never forget.
We arrived into this village at 6.30 in complete darkness and, as we got off the bus, all of the village children were laughing and cheering at our presence, they were so happy to see us. We were then escorted into the middle of the village where, under a tree were 13 chairs all neatly lined up for us. Upon sitting down I noticed the whole village, besides the chief and other leaders were all sitting on the cold hard ground. This was women and young children. They were the ones who deserved the chairs, not us. At that moment it was clear that none of us could understand what it was that made us so special, that we had chairs and they did not. It didn’t seem right. We were treated like celebrities yet we did nothing to warrant it. A guided tour of the village followed. As we walked from hut to hut seeing people’s homes the children raced around so full of life. Jumping and laughing, play-fighting with each other. Despite having nothing but the clothes on their back their young spirits were sky high. It was a beautiful lesson on life. One of the men proudly showed us his house which was effectively a bricked hut. He was so delighted with what he had, even though it was almost nothing at all. The most harrowing moment was when; with a huge grin on his face he proudly showed us his daughter’s bedroom. Drawing back the curtain we were presented with nothing more than a hole in the wall. A two metre squared hole in the wall. These people are so overjoyed with what little they have. Our experience in the village made everyone reflect on life during the quiet bus journey home. It made us realise how lucky we really are and how much we take for granted. It’s mere luck that separates from us from being born into a developed country or an under-developed country and yet some people don’t understand how lucky they really are. It’s not their fault though. It wasn’t until we travelled a few thousand miles before we were able to properly re-evaluate everything we know and love. For the rest of the night everyone had unanimously accepted that our forty-five minute visit to a local village not five minutes from where we staying had completely transformed us for life. To see those kids, the kids who have nothing. And the man, the man who was so proud of his home and everything he had resonate joy and hilarity made me realise something startling. These people have nothing but sing and dance like they have
everything but we in the ‘developed’ and ‘civilised’ part of the world have everything and act like we have nothing.
On the upside, here is the comment of the holiday and a story of what happens when you leave us kids up to our own devices.
– At the end of the night while in our pyjamas, the five children who were staying in the bottom house performed a scene from dirty dancing…….. With Gemma on camera duty and Matthew and Ryan singing “I’ve had the time of my life” in harmony Sarah and I performed, rather expertly might I say, the classic ‘lift’ scene. Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey eat your heart out.
– “I never thought that leaves fell of the trees in Africa” – Jennifer Kelly, during African winter.
-Luke :-)

17 thoughts on “Day 4

  1. High All, Enjoying the blog and following your adventure of a life time. I can feel from the tones of your writings that you will be coming home a group of different young people from the group that left. Enjoy your concert tonight and then onwards to the lake. God Bless. Colin x

  2. A few tips for Father Andrew to liven up St Conval’s!! Except the 2 1/2 hour bit… Sounds amazing & life changing. Another great post. Can’t wait for Matt’s update, will probably consist of ‘It’s warm’ & that will be it!! Proud of you all.

  3. Fantastic blog Luke, it really gives a flavour of the life-changing experience you are all having. We are all very proud of you all ! Well done everyone !

  4. Great blog … Really enjoyed reading … Feeling all emotional now but what an amazing experience u are all having … Enjoy ! x

  5. Enjoyed the blog and can’t wait to see the video and hear Ryan singing in harmony with Matthew. Any beers beforehand? Definitely think the sixth years should be “up the beat” at their masses next term.

  6. Amazing description of your experiences with the local people. I’m sure it’s difficult to put your experience fully into words. Must be such an experience! Safari sounds fantastic. Can’t believe you all left almost a week ago.

  7. Great update Lukey boy, you pulled at your old aunties heartstrings. Found it very emotional and heartfelt. Loving hearing about all your antics. Maybe we should get grampa to speak to Father Joe and extend the mass times at St Margarets! :) Sounds like your all having a wonderful experience. Take care all of you and give your wee cuz a big hug from. Lots of love Auntie Ali xxx

  8. 4 hours of mass in one morning how many plenary indulgences do you get? Little mr Kelly likes the football stories and Grandma Hearns had a tear in her eye listening to this blog. Mrs Kelly you did make us laugh what did you think happened to the trees in Africa?

  9. Another great blog!! Very poignant. Sounds like you are all enjoying every moment of the fantastic experience you are all sharing. Everyone is very proud of all of you… Keep up the good work.. We are looking forward to tomorrows blog.. Well Done xx

  10. hi Suzanne and co hope this is living up to expectations we are enjoying ourselves but kept losing my password bye for now
    Mum And dad

  11. Luke u sure know how to make ur cousin almost greet haha great update sounds like use will all come back different people I’m sure most of us would love an experience like that to change us! Can’t wait to see u both :) xx

  12. What a lovely update Lukey boy. Very emotional. I’m sure you will come back a changed person. I’m very proud of each and every one of you. What a tremendous group of young people you all are, and an experience that will last a life time
    Love Mum and Dad x

  13. What an emotional update Luke. That was a great read (except now I’m nearly bubbling heading to work!). Enjoy the rest of your trip! Suzie x

  14. Luke – truly enlightening (just finished my second box of kleenex)! Love hearing all about of the Group’s escapades – keep them coming. Enjoy the last remaining days of your adventure. Looking forward to the photos now. Love to you and Sophie from Aunt Karen and Grampa. xxx

  15. What a fab update Lukey! Your words make it very visual for those who have never been and a lesson that you don’t need much in life except love and health to enjoy life! Really, sounds like this has opened your eyes and has been life changing! I am sure you have also left your special mark on those you have met there and brightened up their days! Please tell me your obsession with superman has not been engrained in their culture:) Can’t wait to see the pictures soon! You and Sophie have a safe journey home! Luv ya xx

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