Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Br. Gabriel

          I wish to call this particular article “a walk under the scorching sun with a priest.” When you take a walk with a priest you ought to brace your tainted heart for scathing admonitions and your drooping spirit for some levitating or lulling advice. In this case, the priest here is Bro Gabriel or Gabu if you like. That was back in 2009. These are vivid memories of my occasional evening walks in the afternoon with him. The sun would be very harsh on us, yet I and him enjoyed the company. Rarely did we think about the sun. As it is, coming to Hola was an experience of its own kind for Gabriel. He frequently insisted we walk because I was available. I did not understand then the purpose of those walks to and from the shopping centre. In fact, he often informed me early enough and the walk would only be at 4pm. On the first day, I was looking forward to it for two reasons. First, I was expecting a free beer. Second, I was looking forward to it because, before then, no ordained brother had ever asked me to take a walk with him, probably because ordained priest usually have means of transport. So it was probably a privilege to me and unfortunately a disgrace to him. It does not matter because both reasons were wrong especially the one about a beer.

I call it a walk with a priest under the scorching sun because Gabu was always aware of his status as a priest, was not supposed to be languishing under the heat of the sun. He always felt the sun was unfairly hot! Often, we discussed a lot during those walks mostly rotated around priesthood and the “hardness of life”. These discussions would at times scare the young me then. Gabu has a way of putting across his points. He is a comically serious man who would tell me, “Haki wewe si unateseka sana! kama mimi ni padre na nateseka hivyo hapa Hola, na jua hii, na wewe?” seemingly, priests are not supposed to experience the raw scathing of the sun. I had not thought about suffering then until he pointed it out to me, perhaps I was just a happy pig munching its rotten rubbish and never caring to change a thing in life, (and I have not changed a thing, I am still preparing). All the same, he woke me up!!

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