|Father and Celeste at the hospital!|
“If you’re sad, play us a song,” Celeste says, swinging on our porch swing in the evening heat.
I fumble, “No, I can’t! I don’t any songs by heart.” I realize that this isn’t exactly true, but being put on the spot makes my brain stop working…
“You don’t know any?! What about… oh be careful little eyes what you see…” Celeste sings in English.
“Well, I do know that one but that’s a children’s song. Ah, I have an idea just hold on a moment!” I say as I rush into my house. I find my mandolin and walk back outside.
“Ah, you have a mandolin! Our choir doesn’t need to accompanied by a piano if you have that!” Celeste exclaims.
“Well, I don’t want to play in front of the whole church, I can sing but I don’t want to play. I don’t mind playing for ya’ll. You’re my friends,” I explain to Lila and Celeste.
I pluck the starting chords of a Kat Edmonson song, if you haven’t heard her work, it’s great. I sing it although it’s rough, I was nervous and I’ve never been good at performing solo.
For the longest time, I didn’t understand fully why Congolese culture put so much importance on music, but Thursday night it finally clicked into place. Music can be so many things: it can be a way of expressing what you feel, it can be a way to turn off your brain, it’s a getaway, it’s a simple but wonderful gift, it’s a way of worship and it’s the perfect way to communicate and connect. Thursday night it was a goodbye gift from me to my friends. The song didn’t catch all that I was feeling, but it’s a pretty song and one that I wanted to share.
|Lilas preparing and teaching me how to make Congolese food!|
It’s those words, “You’re my friends” that makes leaving on Tuesday morning so hard. Lila and Celeste are my two best friends here in Vanga. It was only two weeks ago that the three of us started to spend quality time with each other. I only truly got to know Celeste 2 weeks ago, but I’ve been friends with Lilas for ages and I am so thankful for that. (Here's the post I wrote about her when we first met: http://nancytheblog.blogspot.com/2015/09/when-lonely-meet.html) We’ve had movie nights, we’ve cooked and eaten together, we sing all the time, and just laugh so hard, like tears rolling down our faces laughing. I have been so blessed.