1.27.2006

My Day in Africa

The BBC is collecting stories of daily life in Africa on their website. They're short glimpses into people's lives from across the continent. I'm amazed at how much they convey in under 300 words.

Right now the lead is a Kenyan nun's account of her missionary work in Ivory Coast. She works with children dying of AIDS and malaria and teaches literacy to prostitutes. Political tension makes travel uncertain. Yet every day she does devotions at 0530, and "After this, I set out to go to mass and walk for 15 minutes down a dirty and smelly path - but at least I get to greet people as I walk." Now there's missional living.

I really resonated with Sarah from Uganda. Her ordinary tale brought back the sights and smells of the incredible rush-hour traffic in Kampala, and the ubiquitous cell phone billboards along the roads. So much of her story could be mine: "I check my email and attend to tasks as soon as possible. There are always lots of deadlines to meet. Some days are so overwhelming that I never hit the mark." Yet she know's what's really important: "I always love coming home to see my husband and baby - they relieve my stress."

Thanks, BBC. These stories help us to remember that what we have so much more in common than we have differences.

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