poitu varam

THE CHRONICLES OF A FLEDGLING MISSIONARY CALLED JOLLYBEGGAR "i still gaze fondly at all of the pictures, drink ginger beer, bunch my food, listen to punjabi dj tunes, play my dholki, wear my sarong (around the house only because in canada it is still really uncommon for a man to wear a wraparound skirt in public) and speak way too much of the differences between east and west..."

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

not unlike

august 16: day 7: tuesday (part 3)
in the evening as we went in for supper, mohamed greeted me at the door of the dining commons holding two plates and said 'come to my house?'

i presumed that the other plate was for ivon and so i grabbed a plate and scooped some multi-coloured goodies onto it, stopping at the canadian table long enough to grab some cutlery and a banana (hey- wait a minute!)

having supper with mohamed and ivon was a beautiful time. we talked in bit phrases about our countries, our ministries, my family and the power of God. they taught me to eat with my hand by bunching, and were very gracious in doing so- the cutlery i brought with me went unused.

ivon spoke some decent english, and acted as interpreter for most of the evening, occasionally growing mildly impatient with mohamed's lack of vocabulary and english grammar. i laughed watching them together, for they reminded me a lot of mrs jollybeggar and me... especially earlier in our marriage where we were in our mid twenties and there were only two of us.

with mohamed and ivon, i experienced a simple and familiar hospitality... no 'eastern host- western guest' business, just people enjoying a good meal and good fellowship together.

it is a blessing to feel alike, not once again unlike.

one of the things that kept coming up (because i kept bringing it up in numerous conversations) was the need for tamil songs written out in english letters... not necessarily english words in translation, just something phonetic so that the anglophones like myself who are incapable of reading the 256 letter tamil alphabet could participate more than simply humming and clapping.

small prayer, big power-
swamini karunaa karuna
(Lord, give us your grace)
Jesus wahnsege; namen
(in Jesus' name, amen)

undha vede kirube seyum
Jesuvin- namata; amen
prayer song:
(this was the most memorable tune of my time in sri lanka. it has become a private worship mantra for me... a prayer anthem)
inhala cule vasum seyum, avi ya navare
(be with us, spirit)
avi ya navare, avi ya navare
(spirit, spirit)
parasute avi ya navare
(holy spirit)

ivon went back home (nugegodo) in a van after supper. she had eaten some beef about a month earlier that had caused an extreme allergic reaction in her feet. it basically made her feet look like those of a hobbit, and was incredibly painful. she could hardly walk but you wouldn't know it to sit and talk with her... definately not north american- no whining.

taking the van was a good idea because traveling that distance by three-wheel taxi (mohamed's- three out of four gears working) it had taken five and a half hours to make the 65 km trip to come here. do the math.

as it was, when mohamed returned the next day, he had run himself down to the point where he developed a major fever. he would be battling it right up to the last time i saw him on my last evening in sri lanka five days later.


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