With Bob’s return back to the Capital District, we (meaning mostly Diana) will try to fill his blogging shoes.  I am not nearly as eloquent as he is these days, nor as funny (many years ago he and Fred used to say I would say something funny about once a month or so. I think I used up my allotment already  this month.)   I can promise I will be just as sincere.

Before I continue, I am sorry for all those suffering from the heat back home.  I just looked at your weather and discovered the heat wave you are dealing with.  The locals here in Durban have continually apologized for their cold weather (other than one and a half cold rainy days it has remained in the low 70s for much of our trip).  We have responded with been nothing but happy comments.

In the past 10 days, we have been the dinner guests at five homes.  We have been driven everywhere we’ve gone.  We’ve had our breakfasts cooked for us, our laundry done for us (I resisted giving someone else our dirty clothes as long as my family allowed), our beds made and home cleaned.   It has not been easy to let go and let others do for us, but we’ve recoginzed this as had an opportunity to receive the hospitality we’ve tried to give for so many years. 

Jesus taught us how to give generously, but He also taught us how to receive graciously.   In the gospels, we read of St. Peter’s mother in law being healed by Jesus and then getting up to cook for him.  The feminist in me used to be annoyed at the stereotype, but on further reflection I came to understand that Jesus was teaching us how to be gracious in receiving the gifts of others no matter what form they come in.  There have been many times through the years at Emmaus House that others have cooked for us and cleaned for us and generally done for us and I have often struggled at allowing them to do so.  This trip has reminded me of this struggle, and reminded me once more to renew my prayers for the gift of grace.

Salani Kahle (goodbye to all)

PS – On a completely different note, we also spent part of the day visiting a non-traditional place for tourists:  Durban’s equivalent of the garment district.  At times it felt like what was described to me as a Middle Eastern market place with winding alleys and fascinating sights and smells.  We also swam in the Indian Ocean!!  For most of the year it has shark nets far out from the beach to protect the swimmers.  In the end of June and beginnng of July, they take the nets down temporarily to allow for the millions of sardines (and the unfortunate shark predators) to swim north along the east side of the African coast.  We apparently just missed this sardine run by a week or two