Importance of saying Good Bye – Brother Benjamin sets the pace!

hspace=5Have you ever had an occasion when you had to say good bye to the family members, friends or pupils? I had once. It has mixed feelings. You feel a sigh of relief if you never enjoyed the place and the relationships. I was once working at Kamiti prison in Kenya with the young inmates there. Each moment we heard one group was being released the following week, we used to bless them with Sister Rachael, a Consolata Sister from Argentina who works full time there. We could read emotions of joy as they were being released. I heard them sing that the strokes time was over. Then we would take turns giving them pieces of advice so that they do not dare be involved in criminal activities. But one whispered to me that one of his friends often is caught again and again because the prison provides security and home. This meant that strokes were a lesser evil to security and home.

However, a noviciate is not a prison. It is a home that one could come as often as possible if opportunities allowed in the future. Having this possibility of coming back, the chewa say, ? Pa msasa sayipitsa.? Meaning where you have lived so well, you do not have to condemn but you have to leave peacefully so that you will be welcomed come alegria. I am certain that after having worked at Orore for three years, I hope l made more friends than enemies. If l made enemies it was never intended but must have come as unintended evil which l will always beg for forgiveness. I enjoyed the company of teachers, villagers, our domestic workers, friends and my fellow Brothers. Yes, I used to work with the aspirants and Rosary Mamas. We had nice times together. I did not want to leave. I was glued there and l wanted to stay forever. But l had to remember what l once read, ? If you are in a hurry, you will not see the beauty around you but if you get stuck, you will never see the dazzling beauty ahead of you.? I said to myself that a religious is an itinerant minister, always on the move. This means saying bye should be one of our norms. Even death one day will force to say bye to this earthly life so that forever we enjoy the presence of God in heaven.

This last detail was the experience of Brother Benjamin Twea. He entertained us to laughter the whole two years, especially during the Birthdays celebrations. He could play with words from his motherland and put them in the context as if they existed in Portuguese or Spanish. During an interview with Tashinga he revealed that he learned drama tactics at St. Patrick?s Seminary in Rumphi, in Malawi. It was common to use figurative language to make fun and entertain friends. This gives the reason why he had to apply them here. Br. Benjamin Twea, you are now at home for your home leave, soon you will have to wave another good bye because the Zomba community will need you for the next six months. While at Zomba you will have to prepare for another occasion of good bye because MIC will need to prepare you for mission. Of course you will have many good byes in your life. Remember pamsasa sayipitsa will help you very much. It seems we are failing to get another fellow with your unique entertaining gift. If it was possible to share gifts, we would have said share with Tashinga who could have easily enriched his own unique gifts. Thank you for touching us to say good bye even when we enjoy the place to give room to the others. Brother Lawrence used to call this a mystery of substitution. We live to part we part to meet again. I say bye to you and enjoy your new place. God bless.

Simeon Banda, fms.


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