A cup of tea

Img_4014 Posted by David Gough on Sun, 05 May 2013 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

The poverty may be extreme in Eastern DR Congo but the welcome, hospitality and food are quite frankly amazing yet extremely humbling. We have travelled 64 kilometres south 30 east and 40 kilometres north of Butembo city and everywhere we visit we are offered a cup of tea.

But one thing we could not get accustomed to was the generosity of the quantity of food presented to us daily. Many days we visited three locations and each time we were offered the customary ‘cup of tea’. But we soon discovered the phrase ‘cup of tea’ is code words for a banquet, a feast of the highest order. From mid-morning to late afternoon daily we were presented with rice, ‘Irish’ potatoes, sometimes crinkle cut chips, chicken, rabbit, goat or fish, vegetables like cabbage, carrots and beans followed by bananas, passion fruit and pineapple and to finish off a cup of tea or coffee.

One day we were presented with a dressed cooked chicken with crinkle-cut chips and tomatoes:

All these fruit and vegetables are home-grown in the very fertile Congo soil. These extremely impoverished people treated us like royalty; it was both embarrassing and humbling. But to refuse what they offered would have been unforgiveable and an insult to their culture. As the Bishop said, “This is why I have a big Diocese.” as he spread his arms across his stomach. Consequently we had many cups of tea during our week long stay.

On Sunday at St Andrews Cathedral, Butembo, Rev Robert Boyd presented the Bishop Isesomo with a banner made by the women of St Andrews Parish, Killyman to celebrate the partnership between the Parish and the Diocese of North Kivu. Gerald presented gifts from St Andrews Parish, Milltown, of new electronic hospital ear thermometers to two of the hospitals in North Kivu. Now that’s certainly worth a cup of tea!

Comments

Robert Boyd said Sun, 05 May 2013 04:04PM
David good to hear that the Internet is up and running again. It truly was a wonderful and emotional visit to see the Church in North Kivu Diocese reaching out with such love and compassion was inspirational,we in the west have a lot to live up to. We have arrived home safely and are praying for the rest of your trip. May God watch over your travels in Kindu diocese. God bless Robert Boyd

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