Thursday, April 10, 2008

A superficial understanding

On Monday night, I went over to Joselyn's for dinner. What I didn't know was that there was going to be a Bible study and prayer group. It was a very subdued group, with the exception of their time of praise singing, and I felt considerably out of place. I was aware of the fact that I was breaking rules I didn't know about and couldn't do anything to prevent it. For instance, each time someone would begin to speak, the dialogue with the group was prefaced by the speaker saying, "Praise God," and everyone responding "Amen." Understandably, this did not come naturally to me. But beyond this rather obvious example, I sensed that I was stumbling around in areas I did not understand.

This was only reinforced as I came home via matatu from Wandegeya. Every time I have taken the route from Bukoto to Wandegeya, it has cost 500/=. When I arrived at my stop, I handed the conductor a 500/= coin. "It's 800," he told me. I got a bit shirty about it, saying that every time I had gone that way before it was 500, etc., etc. Eventually, I did get out and give him another 100. He slammed the door and went on.

I called Joselyn to report I was home safely and complained about the matatu conductor trying to rip me off. "Eight hundred is right," she told me, with great cheerfulness and not a spot of blame. "They charge more at night." Making me feel like a big jerk for getting all bent out of shape over 22 cents. On the other hand, how was I to know?

I think the first flush of discovery is waning and I'm now at a point where I have to work harder for every bit I'm going to learn. And there's a lot to learn.

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