Acoli Cultural Revival Organization Post 4


It  is Sunday, the Feast of the Epiphany. There are two masses at the parish, the 7 am in English and an 8:30 in the native Acoli language, that is if the first mass ends in time.

Attending mass in Padibe always lifts ones spirits to the heavens! The music is wonderful, the mass is a real celebration of grace, and the faith the of the people is so strong, honest and visible that is it humbling to us Westerners. It always seems that in all that I do when I make a visit to Padibe, attending the Sunday Mass is always the highpoint. Celebrating with a people who have so little and work so hard, and yet participating in their joy and faith at mass is an amazing event.

Tommy & Chirstine with three of their children and one one the way!

Tommy & Chirstine with three of their children and one one the way!

After the first liturgy I greeted Tommy and his wife with child, Christine along with three of their children. Tommy has made two visits to Three Holy Women Parish in Milwaukee, composed music for the liturgy on his first visit, and been a friend and major project manager for most of our projects in Padibe.

Here is short video taken during the second mass with the people celebrating in song. What a joy it is to stand at the altar seeing over 400 people with such faith.

Bringing forth the gifts of money, millet, rice, vegetables, and ground nut paste (peanut butter)

Bringing forth the gifts of money, millet, rice, vegetables, and ground nut paste (peanut butter)

After mass Fr. Charles and I had breakfast together and then it was off to my first meeting with the actors in the Collaborative Drama which will be performed at the Cultural Revival Gala. I will say much more about this in future posts.

After that meeting I hitched a ride on a small motorcycle with Francis Okot, the new General Manager of the Sunflower Press, to spend the afternoon at the homesite of my very good friend Francis Onek.

My very good friend Francis Onek with drying sesame seeds, a small storage hut for ground nuts and a larger storage hut for different grains.

My very good friend Francis Onek with drying sesame seeds, a small storage hut for ground nuts and a larger storage hut for different grains.

Francis is an elder in the community and we hit it off on my first visit and have become close friends for these past eight years.

We sat and chatted for a long time, walked all around his farm, visited the two pigs I bought in June that his son is raising in his piggery, and I fell asleep in a chair and took a short nap while he was talking to me!

One of the little grandchildren getting a change of pants

One of the little grandchildren getting a change of pants

I tried playing cards with his sons and that brought me out of my slumber.

Playing a great game of hearts with Francis' sons

Playing a great game of hearts with Francis’ sons

Then it was time to eat.

The two elders sharing a wonderful meal of traditional local foods.

The two elders sharing a wonderful meal of traditional local foods.

We enjoyed sharing a meal and since I had been there for four hours I decided it best I begin the long walk back to the the rectory. Francis was only going to walk half way with me, but our conversation was so engrossing that we were soon in the town center, greeting more and more people, many who had seen me at mass that morning.

We ran into Dennis who was on his way to sit with his friends and sample the local brew. Since I am on a Cultural Revival project, I decided to take a look at how them make it and how they drink it.

It is basically cooked from local grains and fermented rapidly, then served in a clay pot with lots of fermented froth all over the top. They create long straws out of a local weed/reed and sit around sipping and talking. I DID NOT do any sipping but took the following video, with permission.

Since it is in the upper 90’s to low 100’s every day, by the time I reached the rectory a shower was  more than in order. Fr has been in a meeting for the past several hours with some parishioners, quite the normal activity all day long, giving me time to write this post.

You will notice that much of the activity revolves around relationships with the people, the projects come second. But tomorrow is Monday so I will set my daily program more concretely and then add in all the home visits I have already been invited to. It looks like it will be a wonderful, activity filled, three week visit!!

1 comment to Acoli Cultural Revival Organization Post 4

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>