Sunday, December 16, 2007

So we just wanted to write a quick update and P.T.L. news bit about Ebola...apparently there never actually was Ebola in Jinja..or Kampala, despite being in all the local papers and on several credible internet websites. I'm not sure what happened but the bottom line is that the Ebola threat in our area is totally over. As far as I know its been contained in Bundibugyo - a town that is close to the border of Congo and far from here - and hasnt spread at all to the rest of Uganda. So PTL for that!!

The other day Amy and I were driving in Kampala with some of our ugandan besties David and Ronnie, and this wonderful little blast from the past song came on the radio. For those of you who remember the famine in Ethiopia in the 80's, you will probably also remember the band "Band Aid", and their deep and profound song "Do they know its Christmas?". I'd just like us all to take a moment to appreciate the personal favourite lines are in bold.

It's Christmastime
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime

But say a prayer

Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it's hard, but when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging
chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you

And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Here's to you - raise a glass for everyone
Here's to them - underneath that burning sun
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmastime again

Needless to say, we were just a little mortified to be sitting there listening to such an ignorant song with our african friends. Oh and just for a little clarification:

1. They, being africans, are in fact aware of the both the christmas season, and the biblical basis for it.
2. Not that life isnt just a FABULOUS christmas present, but I do know quite a few africans who are getting something other than just "life" for christmas this year.
3. Believe it or not, despite the lack of snow, christmas still finds a way to happen here in africa!
4. If we can learn anything from this song (other than the fact that "clanging chimes of doom" is just a lovely metaphor), I hope its to never NEVER thank God that its "them" instead of "us". Even the use of the word "them" in reference to all of africa just makes me want to vomit. God has not spared North America and sent his "clanging chimes of doom" to Africa. North America is spoiled. Living in a "world of plenty" has jaded us. Please don't pity africa. Pity does no one any good. If you feel like there is injustice, find out what you can do about it.

I understand the intentions of Band Aid when they wrote this song, but I guess what I want to say is that good intentions are good, but even the best intentions can be kind of ignorant. We want to encourage you all to be educated about Africa - there is definitly christmas here, but without all of the commerical hullabaloo. Its different, but its still christmas!!

Until next time...


Phyllis said...

AMEN, Sisters!


Victoria said...

I hope to oneday meet you in person. You are such an insighful person and we all take note from you. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! Victoria

Anonymous said...

merry christmas amy!!
from shawna tofiel kassie and maggie!!