Sunday, March 15, 2009

trying to write little bits

where am I now? still in Claremont, California, but being whipped around. Noon meal today with three Browns, Wes Brown and his wife Cheryl, and Ruth Brown. Wes and Ruth (his sister-in-law) were missionaries in Congo all my growing up, and Wes and his brother Arley (Ruth's late husband) were two of five sons of a Congo missionary couple - all five brothers were ministers and three were Congo missionaries; I already knew two of Ruth's three daughters were missionaries in Congo now but today I heard about some of his grandchildren going off to various parts of the world; one of Wes's six kids is the pastor of an English-language church in Nairobi.

I went for a jog yesterday afternoon and went past a number of the five Claremont colleges; a beautiful long-haired, long-tailed, elegant-snouted yellow dog went zooming past me and past me and past me again on a softball track while we kept out of the way of four young men playing boccia ball (aka boules) and then I followed some loud cheering noises and found a bunch of young men in helmets, with bats, running around a field that had tiny little goals at each end. What is that - lacrosse maybe? Nothing I've ever played, surely.

Wonderful to jog again - my knees seem fine. 15 minutes jogging, 20 walking (lovely phone call with Alex in Bloomington), 15 jogging again, like that. I vow to take care of my knees this second time around after being scared I'd maybe used them up. Very grateful to my doctor in Berlin who assured me I just had to be gentle, take more Ibuprofen, keep walking briskly, and wait a little and I could jog again (carefully!).

Last night my parents and I went to a lovely evening of folk singing right here on the campus of their community. Some songs we got to sing along with; some we listened to. I bought a couple of CDs, and I remembered that I had totally intended to scoop up my guitar while in Bloomington and take it back to Berlin to learn how to play it finally! How could I forget such a thing? (Easy; I didn't write it down.) However, maybe it's just as well - kind of tricky to schlep the guitar along with everything else. So I'm going to try to find a guitar in Berlin and my father says Garage Band, the Apple application, can teach you to play the guitar. Hmmmm.

This morning we listened to a podcast of a French church service (just the Old Testament reading, the sermon, a couple of prayers, and two songs in Kinyarwanda [!]) instead of going to church. That reminded me, too, that I had meant to look for some kind of French-speaking African community in Berlin - maybe I still can. How much longer are we there for?

Can I just quickly say before zooming this out that I think this is a wonderful place? The people here look out for each other, look out for the wider community, are politically involved, pay attention to each other. They're theologically liberal and socially progressive (my parents say that there are a few kind of conservative people who end up here but feel pretty uncomfortable, so now some people in the place are trying a little harder to make it so those others can feel comfortable too). Sitting at the noon meal (my parents call it dinner and have tried to get me and mine to do so as well, but I notice that most of the others here call it lunch too) and listening to the people line up at the microphone between the meal and dessert to make announcements and introductions, I was just really impressed with the way those traditions keep these people connected. 

OK, love to you all wherever you be.

1 comment:

elena said...

Again, I'm reading backwards time-wise, but I appreciate these views of the place where your parents live: it sounds like an ideal place. I hope we are all so lucky!