WH Chronicle No. 6.7.14

June 7, 2014

Dear Loved Ones,

Hope this chronicle entry finds everyone enthralled in your summer activities of walking, swimming, yodeling, or attaching homemade telemetry equipment to weather balloons (click here to see our friend’s fun).   

With some tears and heartache, we wished Kaghondi farewell as he returned to his motherland.  The Sunday before his departure was especially touching as our whole family enjoyed his vocal solo at Central Presbyterian.   Between the Swahili, the deep well of African memories, and his imminent departure, the moment broadsided us with emotion.  Snot, snorts and gasps were heard from whaleherds (mostly me, though).  Several little ladies patted my shoulder.   I began to worry that I might affect Kaghondi’s performance if he were to see me in the midst of this messy emotion.  I slumped over and waited for it to subside.  Though in Swahili, the song was probably about something very emotionally and spiritually powerful, like sheep grazing.   We were all affected, in the best possible way, of course.   It wouldn't be so sad, had it not been so wonderful. 

That afternoon, in the park, Tom burned some burgers and dogs for about 50 people.  All the patrons were big Kaghondi supporters; though, most of them would say they were there to help the Hale family get through their post-Kaghondi blues.  

Several times Kaghondi tried to express his thanks to us and would become completely flummoxed with his words and emotions.  We've explained that the blessing worked equally in both directions. Regardless, I would give a dismissive wave and then tell him to ‘just go home and make babies”, as he and Deborah are eager to share their love with more children.    

Unbeknownst to us, Kaghondi is a bit of a rock star with his multiple achievements.   New acquaintances would say to us,  “Did you know he wrote a book?”  “Did you know that he wrote a new choir piece?”  "The Bishop was blown away by his sermon on World Relief Sunday." To which we could respond, “Well, did you know that he wrote multiple chamber music pieces and just recorded a vocal track for a new album?”   When I asked Kaghondi about his book he was so unassuming that he wouldn’t acknowledge its existence until he tired of me making up titles.   It is a collection of stories of his life as a pastor in rural Tanzania.  “After She was Born a Woman”  It will be available for Pre-order on Amazon soon…

Even though Kaghondi’s time here has come to a beautiful close, his time in Tanzania with a new perspective and title is just beginning.   The last two years he absorbed science museums, movies, NASA, books, documentaries, art museums, musicals, ballets, operas, concerts, Dogtober, Gay Pride, and amusement parks.  Now he has to re-assimilate in his home culture with a wildly different understanding of the world than most of his fellow Tanzanians.  This inherently presents challenges.  Though I want to wish him the happiest life, I know that his newly acquired knowledge, worldview, and new title will bear a burden.  Many are intimidated by education and critical thinking and will revel in creating barriers, perhaps even more so in Africa than the USA.  So for Kaghondi, I wish him happiness, but more importantly, I wish him the courage, tenaciousness, and compassion to pursue his truth despite all obstacles.  Godspeed, Kaghondi.
  “The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”
~ConfuciusThe Analects of Confucius "It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem."
~G.K. Chesterton

"Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit."~Bill Cosby 

 "The badness of a movie is proportional to the number of helicopters in it.”  
~Dave Barry

Bon Voyaged Out,

Kaghondi's last weekend at an amusement park!
Post-scary-big-coaster-ride: he's still smiling. 

Shopping for the Party

Kaghondi's Welcome Home Party!

Happy Family Sharing Cake

Now THAT is a happy lady!

Despite 30+ hours of travel--he is  happy to become African, again. 

And the happy family is together at last.  
The End (not really).