On to the next port
12.04.2013 - 12.04.2013 95 °F
São Tomé, the capital city of the country São Tomé and Príncipe, is a sad place. The roads and walks and buildings are broken; the people are in your face making demands for $; the market is more crowded and dirty than other African markets. The stats are discouraging too: GDP is $1500; literacy rate is 66%, and they had a civil war following independence from Portugal. No wonder they aren’t singing and dancing here! Yet people in other places beset by the same problems do “sing and dance” and try to practice their English and enjoy having a photo taken of them (and want to see how it turns out) and are helpful and smile and laugh. Maybe it is because it is so hot here. We are on top of the equator and the temp got over 100° and the humidity 85%.
We are also on the edge of a time zone so last night we turned the clock one hour back, tonight we’ll turn it one hour ahead, and then the next night back again.
Meanwhile life on the ship is great. We play Trivia almost every day with about 80 people; the current lecturers are really excellent; the entertainers are top notch, and we are reading James McBride’s fine book, The Color of Water. Our congregation is growing; we appreciate having a real church organist (Lois Kimball, who plays the keyboard) and an Altar Guilder (Jane Cline); we have done some pastoral work from time to time.