36 hours down, 68 left


Of the past 36 hours, 3 of them have been spent in my home. Despedida (good-bye party) at the Nichols on Sunday was a low key time – maybe 15 friends and ministry partners, eating snacks (delicious food by Rebecca, coffeecake by Ben), and talking about the past and future. Rebecca explained to Anna that we were having a party for me, “but it was a sad party…” yeah.

Last night at church, with a message on grace and hope. Appropriate, I thought… And then over to Jeremy’s house for one last guys night which included a rousing game of Canasta and watching most of the movie Labyrinth. (Seriously guys, we’re slacking. Whatever happened to poker nights, Rio Risk, Rambo movies, ultimate memory… My fault though, as I had final veto power over all decisions… And the company was great. I’ll miss those times.)

Digression – Some of you may have seen the movie Labyrinth. Others, like me, may have only seen snippets. For those of you who are unaware, it is… kind of hard to explain, actually. Jeremy described it as “the movie that failed in every category that the Lord of the Rings excelled in.” It is a fantasy adventure film/musical, starring David Bowie (yes, David Bowie) as King of the Goblins, co-starring lots of weird muppets from Jim Henson’s company. Frank Oz (Yoda) was even in it. Acting? Horrible. Plot? Nonsensical. Music? 80’s power ballad. Muppets? Psychedelic. Kind of a hybrid between Sesame Street, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Sound of Music, and Lord of the Rings, if you can picture it…

I wonder where the movie came from… what is the story behind it? Did David Bowie one day decide he wanted to be in a movie?

“Let’s see… I like kids. And goblins. I love goblins. In fact, I want to be King of them. Let’s sing songs too. But MY music. And I want to have a music video in the middle where I dance and throw a baby high in the air (my personal favorite). And don’t forget Animal’s crazy cousins who remove their heads and dance around the fire. I want kids who watch this to have nightmares for months after. Oh, and maybe…”

So he called his friends, (George Lucas and Jim Henson) and I guess the rest is history. I could go on, but maybe we’ll stop now and end this digression… There’s still organizing and cleaning of stuff to do around the house… ok.

End Digression.

The rest of the day – pancake breakfast, a short time of prayer (thanks guys, I really do appreciate it), running home to get stuff ready for streets, one last day of making the sandwiches, talking with the bakery lady about how I’m leaving soon, run to the entrance – wait, are those gunshots? Yes, they are. Will it be my last gunfight? maybe. Bus ride downtown, prayer in the cathedral, walking all over downtown trying to find where the youth are… No dice. I wonder where they are – I’ve been telling them that today is my last day, and we’re going to have a little despedida. I brought cake. See a few older men and women. Meet up with three or four of our friends at the final spot (the XV), and have a good conversation good-byes… But missed seeing many that I had hoped to… I’m going back down on Wed. afternoon on my own to try and search them out – we’ll see how it works… the cake is still in my backpack, waiting for the right time. Then off to buy a couple of gifts/lembranças and eat dinner (my gas canister ran out yesterday morning… so no more cooking at home for me), and home.

Now, clean, rested, and ready to work… so I’ll do that. It’s real, and happening…



Filed under daily life, favela, good-byes, leaving, lessons learned, movies, odd, streets

2 responses to “36 hours down, 68 left

  1. josh

    Hey, BenJammin. Hope your last hours are/were weighted towards joy. Hopefully we’ll get your esteemed presence for a bit. Hugs. The word verification I have to type for this comment is “nonati”. So, be good.

  2. Anonymous

    ben! we're thinking about you and praying as you say goodbye and fly back to the states tomorrow! i can't believe this day has finally come…

    we can't wait to see you at some point, dear friend.

    anne & phil

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