Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday Afternoon

This has been a wonderful day, restful yet hectic. I was lucky to find a congregation that meets in the morning.

The people were friendly. They smiled at me and hugged me. The service was in German but well at the end of the day, God is one. I think I was getting the sense that God is love, that He loves us all.

In the afternoon, I went round seeing God's creation. Our team, part of it, was off to Potsdam, a city near Berlin (you would think they are one). It was by underground from my hotel just outside Moritz, then by bus from Alexander on to Potsdam where we were on a ship for one and a half hours, appreciating the beauty of the German.

We were on Havel River. Then connected to several lakes, small, not comparable to our lakes in Malawi. The sight of castles and palaces, some as old as 300 years was a comfort.

Potsdam is different: more green than Berlin, less cars than Berlin. We met a few men in some traditional regalia and they said they were performing a last ritual for a boy before he marries. The groom is supposed to sell some small things and raise funds just a symbol of hard work not necessarily fund raising, they say.

On the ship, we met another team, of ladies with a bride doing almost the same as the groom was doing. But this groom and bride are not for each other.

"This is for rural parts," said our guide. "I would not do that." I understood her. Germany is a country with 70 percent of women single. Life, they say, is tough and marriage is scaring. You see few children (babies rather) on the streets.

Even the government is worried because this means the working class is growing old and there may not be enough young people to replace the labour force.

German young people say it is expensive to raise children here. True. But I don't think that is the whole reason. Perhaps young people just don't want responsibility. They want to enjoy and do what they want. (Life outside marriage responsibilities can be funny but not the best.)

Later in the afternoon, as we arrived back at our hotel, we met a demonstration, a huge one, with police guiding the demonstrators.

There are elections next month here and campaign is hot. This demonstration was against one party that, according to people, is not for their common good. There were over five thousand demonstrators. Each of them with a beer, most of them smoking, and I wondered if at all there is a German who does not smoke.

They were drinking and breaking bottles on the tarmac. There was loud music from vehicles, really loud. This was a loooooong snake of demonstrators that it took one hour for them to pass by our hotel. Anyway, each group would stop, sing, dance and do all kinds of things.

I saw this with my eyes.

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