Written by: The Bridge on Saturday, September 23rd, 2006
Ok, this is the final post for this adventure. Paul Vetter and I will sit down one last time for a meal of Gari with Afang soup. You’ve been a wonderful audience! Thanks a lot for your comments, they made the blogs come more alive. Hopefully, I’ve been able to give everybody a better picture of what this place is all about. However, reading some of your comments, and emails that I got, I realize that I can never fully explain this place to anybody who hasn’t been in a similar situation. It’s like trying to explain something to these people here about things back home; if you can’t think of anything that they can relate to, then you don’t know where to begin. This brings to mind a saying that I read in a book somewhere, “I can only describe it for you, I can’t communicate it.” Try to imagine coming from an anabaptist background with our strict upbringing and everybody working hard at their occupation, then stepping into the African culture, with its loose way of life and unbelievable ways of doing things.
A lot of the children here are either orphans because the parents don’t have the means to take care of them, or they’re illegitimate children. Many of them grow up without any parents, so how will they ever learn how to live decently?
As far as Palmgrove is concerned, they need people who are strong leaders, without such, I don’t know if it will have much of a chance. Palmgrove has come a long way, but it still needs to go a long way! Especially since Nigeria is a third world country, the corruption is so bad that it makes it hard to get anything done. You keep running from one bad experience into the next; it drives a person up the wall at times! If you go to the internet cafes, you always see people looking up immigrating to the US, or getting US Visas. It looks like many people are looking for greener pastures instead of trying to make a small difference where they are. They think that the western world is a land flowing with milk and honey, which in a sense it is, but it’s not without hard work which is something that they don’t want to believe.
Palmgrove has a few dedicated brothers who are willing to give it all they’ve got, and who are willing to live a life according to the commandments that Jesus left behind for us. It’s sometimes amazing to see how well these brothers handle controversial topics and problems that seem to arise everyday, everyday without relenting. I think I’ve learned more than what I’m going to leave behind, but hopefully the little we are able to contribute will make a difference in the lives of some people. So now that we have reached our journeys end, we can say like in a song, when we climb that last mountain we can truly say, “All in all it has been worth it all when we get home”.
See you all soon, God willing