God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

Reflections / Gedanken

10.10.2010 Durban Airport

Durban Airport – waiting for my flight back to Cape Town. Like usual it was a filled Sunday with the service of the German-speaking Catholic Community Durban at 10 am. A full church and a very good atmosphere to pray and to contemplate the gospel of today. It felt simply good to be back after one year. After the service as usual meeting with the people, coffee and cake and lots of chats and exchange. The place in front of the Marimba Hall is packed with people, all in lively chats and discussion. That’s how I imagine communities abroad where the service is also a space to meet and greet and share.

Afterwards then to the Oktoberfest in the German Club – from the Hell Angels to the nuns, all are there, enjoying the Humpa Band and Eisbein and Schnitzel and a good beer in the heat of Durban. Also here lively chatter around every table. It is quiet different from Cape Town, where people come and go while in Durban, most are here for the last 20, 30 years and one knows each other. And in the midst Sr. Agnes, well know to all churchgoers as well as those who have not found the way to church yet. 🙂

Back at the airport time still to answer email and to write this block before Cape Town is calling again and a full week is ahead…

Filed under: Reflection, Society and living environment, Uncategorized, , , ,

26.09.2009 It hits home….

Saturday evening, and slowly but surely it hits home: This very next morning, it will be the last Sunday service you are conducting as the chaplain of this German speaking community. Since days I can feel, that besides all happy ends and staying in the country and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS it is indeed work to get an emotional grip to that fact. For 12,5 years the Sunday service was always a fixed point to meet the people, to have a chat afterwards, to liaise with those, who attended every Sunday, to welcome the new ones, say farewell to the swallows before winter, joke with the kids and eat some cake or have a coffee.

I will simply miss it. And all supply services of this world will not bring me back that feeling of belonging to this bunch of so diverse people, unified only through their language. Communities abroad are indeed special, they are a melting pot for a whole range on opinions, longings, life designs and desires – it’s a vibe I never found in a German parish. This is said without any judgement.

I guess it will take time to re-adjust and find myself in the new position. And I decided that I take my time to mourn the loss of this community and that I take my time to absorb this farewell so that at the end, a wonderful kaleidoscope of memories will be part of my life. I can sense now how much I loved to be the chaplain, how much it was part of my life. Actually a good feeling, combined with the sadness of leaving…

Filed under: Reflection, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

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