Zenique was in the summer Writing Rejuvenation class, and she contributed to our rejuvenation in several ways. She gave me permission to share the following.
I was in Africa for less than a week when I encountered their Jesus: made up of carved marble or sculpted plaster painted peach with darker tresses that graced his robed shoulders. If he weren’t statuesque, he was seated at a table with his attendants, bread and wine and enclosed within a frame and hanging on a wall in a cathedral vestibule. His hands were always open and reaching out—the invitation, I suppose. There were always Bibles readily available too—in English, Luganda, Kinyarwanda, French, and Lusoga—sometimes more accessible than fresh meats or vegetables, rice or beans for a meager meal. The Holy Book, usually emblazoned with a foreign version of the title in gold on the front of the black cardboard-like cover. The cover—black like the sun-kissed African peoples, black like their sins—this cover was the singular thing from the imported religion that resembled them.
Day three in Rwanda.
The intern was in the middle of a discussion about cultural encounters when she asked Marianne to share her story. Already quite popular, Marianne, a pretty blonde that was somewhere between surfer and Barbie, had a big laugh and a larger than life American way about her. I was sitting in the back of the room nibbling at a new fruit that I discovered— a mix between a tomato and a passion fruit with a sweet-tart flavor once bitten into—when the golden girl started talking in her high-pitched voice. Read the rest of this entry »