The spirit of Creativity remains

The Spirit of Creativity remains
By Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr from the Petit Écho, January 2014, No 1947.
I came to Zambia in January 2012, after spending about ten years in Malawi. In June of the same year, I took over the job of Provincial Secretary from Georges Lauzon. I have also lived for ten years in the Congo before going to Malawi but coming to the capital of Zambia has proved to be a joyful and beneficial change for me. I still think of my first missionary experience in the Congo as being my closest ever experience with people. This sort of encounter is not thinkable in an office like mine today. However, as much effort and dedication was needed in learning languages or customs and moving around visiting Christian communities in villages, I feel the same spirit of creativity at work today. FULL TEXT
Serge St-Arneault Filya 2 - CopieL’esprit de créativité persiste
Par Serge St-Arneault, M.Afr, extrait du Petit Écho, Janvier 2014, No 1947.
Du Malawi, je suis arrivé en Zambie en 2012 et, au mois de juin, j’ai repris la tâche de secrétaire provincial assumée jusqu’alors par Georges Lauzon. Venir dans la capitale de la Zambie après dix années de mission au Congo, et autant d’années au Malawi, s’est révélé pour moi un changement heureux et bénéfique. Je me rappelle encore mes premières années missionnaires au Congo. Ce fut pour moi l’expérience de la plus grande proximité jamais vécue avec une population. Aujourd’hui, ce genre de rencontre n’est plus réalisable dans mon service. De même que l’étude de la langue, des coutumes et les visites dans les communautés chrétiennes villageoises demandaient alors un effort et un engagement, je sens que ce même esprit de créativité est à l’œuvre aussi maintenant. TEXTE COMPLET

I want to tell you that …, by Agnieszka Liberacka

Agnieszka 04BAgnes, as usually known at Home of Hope, spent some months at the Centre but went back to Poland just after the New Year. She is sending touching words about her experience with the street children of Lusaka. We wish her to enjoy her new life back home hoping to see her again among us, here in her second home…of hope.
From Agnes:
Kitek is gazing suspiciously all the time, as if with disbelief – she’s back. He’s sniffing, observing, recognizing. He’s spending all his time sitting on a suitcase abandoned in the middle of the room, in case of another sudden departure into the unknown.
My Zambian life came to an end. One hundred and fifty days of incredible wandering – with people, with culture, with my own head – all of it over once I got on the board of a plane. It was my second encounter with Home of Hope. I went back there after a year out of longing and out of conviction that this is the way it is supposed to be. I roamed with them regardless of my mood. I roamed my new world with curiosity, fear, anger and fascination. I learnt a lot even though I’d gone to teach there.
It was a wise encounter. I didn’t live a sheltered life. I lived next to, close, within reach. This astonishment and irritation of mine. Meeting another culture, colour, and other people – always a challenge for them and for you… I didn’t hide under a blanket of romantic Africa-in-the-sunset illusions. I saw a lot, heard a lot, experienced a lot. I came up against my own wall along the way, right next to my head… It’s a price and gain at the same time. I found balance between something beautiful, ephemeral, good and something dirty, pissed-on and bad. I experienced openness, love, care and unconditional being.
Quotidian life, built of ordinary getting-ups and ordinary falling-asleeps. The stories of children, of the street… this wandering never seemed to end. All I had to do was wait, and sit; a man and man meet.
But everything times two. This adventure is like that – two-sided.
I experienced being the other one, the one from the West or the East? Never mind, a stranger. Being not at home, not in my right place, being only an unintelligible White. I experienced what it’s like when everyone wants a bit of you and you’re falling apart into small pieces, only making sure that the head is where it should be. You’re looking for legs and arms – check, shaking a bit but they are still there. You’re making sure once again – yep, they are there. I was looking for my own boundaries, whether they weren’t full of holes, whether, by chance, they didn’t need mending… where was this crack which fear and sadness were leaking through?
But you keep on wandering, as the inner compass points at your direction and goal. It makes sense, this wandering, this step-taking, this building……
What’s good and what’s bad always forms us, only if we want to give it a chance.
Agnieszka Liberacka
Final note from the author:
Those were good 150 days. I thank the people who took me in, my White Fathers for faith and the joy of shared lives. The boys for the fun of passing time together. I thank Jacek for being, for standing by and for constant help in unravelling the tangle of my own misunderstandings and questions. I thank the people who met me halfway through this little journey and struggle of mine. 

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Interview with Marina Amalia Zuccala