When the sister comes in explaining we have been invited for a meal with the priests, all sorts run through your head. How should I act? What is appropriate to wear? Is it a formal or informal occasion? So we head over with one of the Sister’s hoping we look presentable, to enter a room with a lot of chairs and a mass of food around the edges.
I have to say we are pretty confused by the setup, and there was more than just a few seats. It turns out we had been invited to a leaving party for Priest William, as they said God had called for his help elsewhere. Once we realised it was a party we were not too sure what to expect. Firstly, there we are a few emotional speeches provided by Priest William and some other key members of this community.
As myself and the other girls are only human, I do have a confession. As you may imagine, there were a few language barriers and also different ways of saying different sayings. Unfortunately for us, one saying gave us the giggles at the wrong time. As the guest of honour was gifted with money to take on his latest journey, the priest made a speech. Within this speech, he thanked them “for this fat packet”. Being for the UK and Ireland, we had begun over years using some of these words as slang and the phrase did tickle us. It was the most difficult thing to hold back our silly moods while we stifled our giggles and tears. It did not help by the fact that while silently laughing in the corner I banged my head against the window ledge, setting us off even more, Not our finest moment I have to admit, however, the rest of the party goers seemed amused by us also and it didn’t take away from the impressive speech given. Once our silly mood was over, we tried a mass of delicious foods, we really were treated as royalty.
I have to say I cannot be more impressed and thankful to the sister’s observations as they had noticed what drinks we had been buying while out there and they purposely bought some for us to have on this occasion, even insisting to pour it for us, even though we protested. As we finished our meals and prayers, there was a DJ and the music began. This was when the sister’s really surprised us. You would expect a conservative, quiet bunch of ladies. Do not get me wrong they were everything you would expect in the eyes of religion, however, dance being a huge part of African culture, these ladies danced! It was wonderful to watch these women who had taken us into their home and provided for us, enjoy and bask at the moment. There was bopping, shaking, wine, and just pure elation as they celebrated. Of course, we did join in. It was lovely to be part of, and Vicky’s dad dancing definitely made my night. In all honesty, there was some questionable dancing from some attendee’s, but this did not deter us from enjoying ourselves.
It really was an honour to be accepted, and allowed to be part of this occasion, even having our own introductions giving by Sister Margaret, the head sister.