Monday, April 20, 2009


Yesterday was Sunday and for the first time in a VERY long time I went to church without the motivation of a wedding or a funeral. We went to a big church called Saint Michel de Kembo, where the Christ is black and the pillars beautifully carved. It's huge, enormous, and yesterday it was absolutely full. We were a bit late and we couldn't even enter but we did experience African Catholicism anyway. The songs (in French and... Spanish, maybe because of Equatorial Guinea?) were amazing: African rhythm (live music and drums) and lively, energetic songs performed by a choir and basically everybody around us... people were dancing, clapping, there was atmosphere of general cheerfulness and joy. And at the moment of "passing on the sign of peace", ALL the people around us shook our hands. They would even come up to us and poke us on the back, so that we would let them take our hands into theirs. I was overwhelmed, since I had not experienced that kind of happy curiousity towards me before. (I'd rather had the experience of being an unwelcome white person, I guess). And even though it didn't make me believe in God, I am going to come back to that church. It's a lovely spectacle and I want more.

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