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..."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

snake jerky and smoked ego

august 18: thursday: day 9 (part 1)
after a really long, cold night (the air conditioning finally came on on the coolest night so far, and turn my room into an inverse igloo- subzero temperatures inside but comfortably warm outside) i walked with al to the conference centre.

following breakfast i came upon a hippy scene where lazarus and his daughters and some of the other young people (prince, isac and jesuthas were all there) were sitting in a sunbeam singing while lazarus strummed his guitar. it had such an informal, easy feel that i didn't realize that they were actually practicing for the music they would perform as part of the ordination service. i just sat and listened to the harmony in another one of those i still can't believe i'm here moments.

with 'rehearsal' done, the girls left and lazarus put his guitar down. i asked if i could play it a bit (because we had a half an hour or so before the ordination service was to begin) and lazarus ceremonially handed me the pick.

i was jamming on the guitar with jesuthas and isac (and i think colleen had joined us too by then) when mohamed came by with song sheets- he was sick as a dog, having caught some flu the night he took ivon home (he got back that night after 3 a.m.) and we sang a bunch of common songs including Lord i lift your name on high in english then tamil then sinhala.

ben happened upon all this singing and caught the energy, suggesting that we do the three-language thing for the ordination service.

speaking of ben... the night before, i was heading back from the hotel to the conference centre on foot when i was taken hostage by ben, jey and kumarasiri (an absolutely warm and altogether amazing translator) who were on a water run.

we drove to the nearby village where we bought water for the canadians back at the ministry centre and ginger beers for ourselves. i also had an apple which was a nice treat. then ben convinced me that this stuff that looked like wood was actually dried snake...

ben ate a piece and so, not to be outdone(?) i took a piece. "kinda like jerky..." i said "what kind of snake is this?"

ben couldn't hold it any longer- "it's just fish" he said.

ben sat beside me all innocent in the morning session- he's a slippery one in some ways!

ruby started eating with her hand. at breakfast, jey made some joke to ben about eating with a fork saying 'oh right- you're canadian..." he then pointed at me slopping around in my rice and fish and said "and he's sri lankan!"

we all laughed, but i hoped that the joke hadn't poked ben. he would love to return here for good- he told me so while we were sampling dried snake- but his kids don't like it in sri lanka. i sensed a deep disappointment in this...

whatever, the case, sylvia said "well then we can leave him here!"

no ego allowed... it is an exposed button that satan loves to push, regardless of your own personal intercontinental drift.

still, once the ego smoke had cleared, i realized that part of me kinda liked the idea...


Post a Comment

<< Home