As in many past years, we were again welcomed to worship in Sokoine parish with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Hospitality among the Maasai is of the utmost importance. When our daladala pulled up into the churchyard, there were chairs arranged under the trees waiting for us. We were invited to sit and one of the village elders brought water to pour over our hands before eating, holding a basin below to catch the overflow.
|Georgia riding under the seat in the daladala|
Boiled sweet potato and Maasai chai were offered to all of us. The sweet potato here is not a yam, but a white sweet potato. And the Maasai make wonderful tea by boiling the tea in milk, not water. While we were being fortified before service, many of the men and women of Sokoine came over and shook our hands, one after the other, welcoming each and every one of us.
|Tea before worship|
Maasai do not adhere to a strict time schedule but, instead, move on to the next activity once the preceding one is done, like moving the cows or preparing our lunch. So the 10 am service actually began at 11:30 and lasted 2 hours.
Worship included performances by three different choirs. We may not understand the Swahili, but the joy of praise needs no translator.
Georgia was given to the pastor as the offering from the team. She was very well received by the congregation and, when the pastor was thanking us, he assured us the nanny goat would bear twins! He added that next year, when we visit again, one of her offspring would be in our dinner pot. We are opting for beans and rice that day.
|Cindy presenting the nanny goat Georgia to the pastor|
Chairs were assembled in the church after service and we were ushered in and offered the luncheon meal—rice, meat in a flavorful broth, beans, a squash similar to spaghetti squash, and stewed beef. We all enjoyed it and were bid farewell by our friends until we see them next year.
|The team with Sokoine friends|