So now we’ve fast forwarded 5 years, and I’m getting ready to head to Tanzania for my own trip. Steve, the leader of the trip is the same guy who lead the team when Scott went. And Steve is just full of stories about his past trips to Tanzania, especially the trip with Scott.
If you’ve never been out of the country, it can be quite an experience. We, here in the U. S. really have NO idea how good we really have it. We can say we get it, but until we actually see how most of the rest of the world lives, we really don’t get it. In fact, here’s a rabbit trail for you to follow. There’s a website called globalrichlist.com Check them out. You enter your annual income and they tell you what percentile you are in the richest people in the WORLD! Pastor Scott, (yes, they same Pastor Scott who was talking right to me that first Saturday night service), used this website in one of his sermons. It’s really quite an eye opener. I’ve popped in to the site off and on over the last several years, seeing how I’ve progressed up the ladder of economic success. I haven’t done it for a couple of years, now, and this trip was humbling to say the least. I and my co-workers will quite often complain about our salary at the job we do, and for the job we do, in the environment we do it, in this country, compared to comparable jobs in other locations, in this country, we really are underpaid, BUT… When I plugged in my salary from last year, (though I did work some substantial overtime hours), I came out being in the top 1/2 percent of the richest people in the world! There are LESS THAN 30,000,000 people richer than me, IN THE WHOLE WORLD! I have NO right to complain about ANYTHING!
Okay, back to the experience of being out of the country. When you go on a trip to a place where most of the people make only about a dollar a day, (YES, I typed that correctly – just one dollar per day!), it can be a bit overwhelming. Everything you see and do is a new experience. And according to Steve, with every new experience, Scott would rub his hand over his crew cut hair and exclaim, “I can’t believe I’m in Africa, man!” Everywhere they went, everything they did, every new thing they saw, “I can’t believe I’m in Africa, man!”
Well! With the relationship I’d had with Scott for several years, now, and Steve being an excellent videographer, we really couldn’t help ourselves. Since I usually wear my hair fairly short anyway, I had gotten it cut extra short for the trip to make care easier while we were there. I was a natural! We filmed clips of me imitating Scott in all sorts of different situations! It was quite a lot of fun, and even more fun when we got home and played the clip for him. (I’m sorry, even though I’m richer than 99.5 % of the world, I’m not rich enough to pay for video privileges on my blog!) But here is a still photo of me doing one of the clips, sans head rub. You can probably tell that the kids of Kiziba village have NO CLUE what I’m saying or why I’m saying it, but they are very curious about this muzungu (white – I think I have the spelling right) woman and what she’s doing.
And all this story, now, earlier than planned because Scott came to my work last week and dropped a bomb on me. It’s nothing truly devastating. In the overall scheme of things it’s really no big deal. But it broke my heart. He and his wife are moving away. Yes, to Texas, how’d you guess!? It’s not like we have really stayed all that close. We don’t hang out anymore, since I quit going to the bar. (Yes, yet another story for yet another day!) I’ve moved on to a different church. But we are still family in the eyes of God. Scott and Marilyn are my brother and sister in Christ. They were there for me during a really tough period in my life, and got me through A LOT! It just hurts to know that they won’t be just up the road anymore.
Scott, Marilyn, you have been great friends. I know you will continue to be, though from a distance. I will miss your presence very much. Love ya!