Monday, April 03, 2006

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bird!

Yes, bird!

On Monday, we visited the war-torn village of Kedibah, then visited Wandi. The Wandi visit was “typical” – a greeting into the village, worship service, then a meal with them. Then – as was typical of our visitations – we would all join together in a circle under a big, shady mango tree, and they would sing to us.

Every time, I was mindful that they had just fed us with food they could not afford – with food that they gave to a few of us, when dozens of them needed it desperately.

But on this day something very out-of-the-ordinary happened. As we gathered in that leave-taking circle, an old woman sang in the middle of the circle, and she had something in her hands. Now, it often happened that an old woman moved to the center of the circle and sang, but never had I seen one of them with something in her hands. This woman had something her hands, and it was in a sort of “Baggie.”

Then – as she moved toward the end of her song – she began dancing toward Archdeacon Robert. And as she ended her song, she placed this “offering” into Archdeacon Robert’s hands. Initially, I was puzzled. It sort of looked like soil. Then I thought maybe it looked like seeds. Then I saw its feet protruding out the bottom of the plastic bags and realized, ”It’s a bird!”

I don’t think our poor Archdeacon knew what to do with it!

What struck me was that these people were starving to death. And yet they found a bird and gave it to us – to we who were being so incredibly well fed! The generosity of this gift was awesome to me.

By the way, to your naturalists and animal-lovers out there: No, I do not know what this bird was. It was certainly not a chicken. The people of Wandi said it was a “Cara” [pronounced somewhere between “cara” and “cadah”]. It looked like it was a bird in the quail family.

The bird met its maker on our long drive back to Lui, and we gave it to one of the Lui women when we got home to the compound.

1 comment:

Carol Eyler said...

Lisa, of course I'm curious about the birds -- both dead and alive. When I Googled "birds Sudan," I found this site which lists a surprisingly large number of species, grouped by parts of the country.