Update to My Update: What Would Happen
A few weeks back I told the story of Ted who traveled to Africa—a trip arranged by a Sudanese Lost Boy that Ted helped out by sending money to when Lual Pach Pach was in a refugee camp. Some would have thought that that would be the end of the story. But a relationship developed and finally Lual was in a position to properly repay Ted for all his help.
America has a tradition of honoring people say with a trophy or Golden Globe or a plaque or silver punch bowl—but in Africa honoring a person, especially one you owe your life to, is an elaborate affair. The pic I posted earlier (and now again) only shows a fraction of what happened the day Ted arrived.
He was greeted at the airport and draped with a heavy beaded Sudanese cape. He was also given 2 sticks, one with feathers (also part of their tradition) and then photographed with Lual’s immediate family. Lual had rented a shuttle bus to get them all across town where the rest of his family or clan was waiting. There were around two hundred people gathered for a formal welcoming party. The rest of the day was spent in feasting and dancing and speech-making. Lual had invited several dignitaries (a former governor) from South Sudan to attend and hired a famous South Sudanese musician to play a traditional instrument. The rababa, meaning 'a bowed (instrument)' is a 3-string instrument
I cannot imagine such overwhelming hospitality. Could Lual even afford this? Why spend so much—especially on a man he’d never even met? Because his heart was so full of gratitude toward a stranger who reached out of his comfort zone and took a chance. Certainly a moment for celebration.