Saturday, November 12, 2011

Last weekend, our friends Tangko (who works with Paul) and Euphrasia came to dinner. We served one of my favorite dishes, Poulet D.G. (which, loosely translated, means" CEO chicken." No one can tell me how it got the name. Along with the chicken it includes carrots, plantains, green beans and potatoes, and it's pretty similar to a pile of slowly roasted winter vegetables (but with palm instead of olive oil.) Euphrasia brought us some koki and yams, so we served that, too, and had a real feast.

We talked with them for a long time about the situation with D. (See "How We Came to Have a Rooster", below.) Tangko said that he wouldn't give him anything, because he has never shown any repentance for his thieving, and we shouldn't reward him. Paul continued to argue that God forgives us over and over again, and never stops giving to us, so we should do the same. I argued back that God forgives us but also allows us to suffer the consequences of our sins and mistakes. Euphrasia said that she would be afraid to have anything at all to do with him, because someone who has stolen from you will hurt you again. Then Tangko brought up how D. had also stolen from him: he had taken all of his tools from the hangar. I said that maybe we should tell D. that we wouldn't help him unless he replaced the tools; Tangko told me that Paul already had. (Like I keep saying, Paul is very charitable.) They also said that it is not possible for the family of the prospective bride to forget to include cloth and a goat on the dowry list. They suspected that the couple had only thought about a wedding after they heard that we were in town and had hastily scribbled the list before coming to see us. Paul wondered what he should say to D. if D. says, "But I thought that you would forgive me." I told him that he should say that if we hadn't forgiven him, we would be asking him to pay us back for all that he stole. I think that Paul is starting to change his mind, but I will still talk to Coneilia. That should be interesting. She is about the only person I know who is more generous than Paul, but she is also intensely loyal and will have no warm thoughts about someone who treated us badly.

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