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Today being Sunday gave us the perfect excuse to be slugs; most things are closed anyway. You would never know it was Sunday by the traffic passing by the hotel.

Ron needed his church fix and with the Holy Ghost Cathedral just a long block away, we went to mass. There are six masses each Sunday. Our good intentions to make it to the 9am mass did not pan out, but we were there at 10:30 for the start of the next mass. When we arrived, the crowds were tremendous. You would have thought they were giving away free televisions the way the people were gathered. Perhaps the Pope was coming and we didn’t hear the news. If he was, we still had time to get away from there. Droves of people left the earlier mass and we sat in the back of the church for the next service. Remembering this is a cathedral, it is larger than a parish church. It was filled almost immediately, but then groups of people were catapulted in at different times like they were thrown in by a wave at high tide. The mass was in Swahili, really adding to the interest for me. We were the only white people amongst hundreds of darker faces. I could not help but notice how every person I eyed had their Sunday best on and the women had their hair done perfectly. The last times I had even been near a church in the States, I still have memories of people’s casual and lack of concern about their appearance. Hmm, kind of like we were dressed today.

What set this service apart was the African spirit shown with music provided by drummers. People were really getting into the singing of upbeat songs, not the maudlin ones I remember. Hand waving and clapping was happening with such joviality, I kept forgetting I was in a Catholic Church and not an Evangelical. We were sitting on the aisle with me at the aisle. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a projectile coming through the air from the other side. When it landed on the aisle floor, I could see it was a white biscuit. My first thought was that someone was making a racist commentary on our being there, but then the question of “white cracker” seemed like a culturally based racial slur that would not have migrated over here. With slow motion movement I turned my head in the direction of the near assault keeping a poker face so I did not show emotion. When I had a full sighting of the potential offender, I was sure it was he due to his mile wide smile and the other white biscuit in his other hand. For a 2 year old, the kid has quite a pitching arm.
The rest of the day was spent around the room. Something has given us the “I need to be really close to the bathroom” bug. My guess is it is the flax seed oil we take for Malaria, but up until now it has not caused this drama. 

For dinner, we went to a local restaurant down the street from the hotel. It was typical Swahili food and the first time I had boneless chicken in any dish. Chicken stew with roasted potatoes on the side, was excellent, but the stew barely covered the bottom of the bowl. The roasted potatoes were plentiful. I don’t know what they did to them, but they were like eggs with a hard shell on the outside, but the inside was white, moist, and so delicious I did not miss any butter or ketchup with it. This was also one of the few places where the food was steaming hot.

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