I can’t tell stories from Afrika without telling you about my first “Afrikan Experience”.
Obviously it was my first summer in TZ. We’d been in Moshi about a week… No. We’d been in Moshi two weeks.
Backing up a little. Because the team was sponsored… set up… arranged.. whatever.. by coC missionaries we had to go to their services (coC or not). Obviously I’m not missing Mass for this so the plan was for me to head to Mass beforehand. Thankfully I had a couple of friends that were willing to go w/ me that year (switched off weeks and in later years everyone had to at some point in the trip).
The first Sunday I had no clue where a Church was… and the second Sunday the group was climbing partway up Kilimanjaro (a whole different story) to have services there and see a waterfall. Still not planning to miss Mass, so we decided to go to the 6 AM Mass and leave right after Communion.
It’s a good thing we ended up doing that because we learned one important thing… We needed to go to that Mass every week in order to make the other service… as Mass there is about 2 hours long and never starts on time!
Anyways… a week later I was excited to actually get to stay for the whole Mass… but we had a slight emergency and had to leave early again (I did manage it the next week lol).
So the two of us were headed back to the hostel and had only gotten as far as the roundabout when it happened. An older lady (with green crumbs around her mouth and peanut butter breath) came up to us and started yelling. First she got in my friends face… The only thing we understood her saying was “tatu” or three… Then she got in mine. At this point she stopped and grabbed my necklace… which had a miraculous medal and another with my patron saint. Another stream of Kiswahili followed in which we heard “Katolici” (I’m sure you can translate that pretty easily lol) and then she grabbed my face and tried to kiss me!
We finally got away and walked away somewhat in shock. I looked to my left just in time to see another lady hiding behind her arm snickering… which is about when we had to start fighting not to laugh.