But reality broke in, too. We got phone messages as we were preparing for the team dinner, that one of our neighbors had died. Milton was the father of a boy we sponsor in school, a boy who has played with our kids and been our friend for most of his life (he's about 21, and we've known him since he was 5). Richard finished CSB this past year, and we sent him last month to be trained as an electrician in a trade school in Fort Portal. By evening he had received the news and come home, and Scott, Luke, and I left our party and walked up the road to his house. From the sparkling table-under-the-trees spread with food and surrounded by laughter, we went to Richard's where I crouched on a dirt floor strewn with banana leaves next to a dead body while Luke and Scott sat with the men outside. No glorifying death here: wailing tears, a man basically our age who worked as a laborer and lived in extreme poverty and struggled with alcohol and died in his home gasping for breath after three days of a pneumonia for which no one sought medical help.
Since my Dad also died on Easter night, it was a bit surreal for me. I gave Richard a big hug. His dad could not provide much (which is I believe a huge factor in the numbing attraction of drink for men here) but he was the anchor of that household, and now he is gone.
Songs and friendship and feast are part of reality . . but only made substantial and sweet by the dust-to-dust contrast of a soon-to-decay body in a soon-to-crumble mud house. Resurrection, come.