It took about 45 minutes for mass to kick off, with much to-ing and fro-ing trying to find the 12 resentful and confused disciple volunteers, organizing the choir etc. etc. Africa Time. My tummy was starting to rumble. The procession started in the tiny wee church, as the priest led in the motley crew of disciples with Beautiful African singing. I was loving it.
In African Churches (I had experienced it in Ghana as well) there is a very specific swaying black dancing style during the hymns. Quite like a pas de bas, shuffle two to the left and back to the right again etc, however you have to simultaneously swing your hips. Basically it is impossible. So, there I am shuffling around like an idiot, humming along and shaking my big white booty like a buffoon, clapping out of time, dressed just about as shabbily as anyone ever has (dirty shorts, flip flops, Hindi writing on my shirt – most likely praising Ganesh and Krishna) If anyone can do tramp, I can. What a foreigner.
After kneeling on a rock hard kneel rest, up and down for about an hour, and my saddle sores agony when I was sitting. I was shuffling around like I was sitting on a bed of nails. The priest finally stood up for the sermon, I was worried he might be one of those scary African “you’re all sinners”- “repent!” priests but he was very calm and emphasized Love and Forgiveness. After 15 mins I thought, “Great, good job son. Nice.” , only to realize that he wasn’t done. He then went on a 15 minute loop, repeating his sermon over and over for about an hour and a half. Really hungry.
As my head smacked off the pew in front when I had fallen asleep for the 3rd time I awoke to see the priest doing the Washing of the Feet ceremony with the 12 wary disciples. Great, nearly Eucharist time – Classic Catholic, we’re really only interested in one thing! Eventually at about 10.30, having taken communion, usually the time in the RC Church where things get wrapped up, it turned out we were now to have a procession around the outside of the church. At this stage I peeled off – couldn’t risk the church announcements (they internationally ALWAYS take an age!), feeling very hungry, holy and having had another great African experience, I wandered back to the Music blaring sordid hostel across the road!