An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Asante Sana, Sister

I knew the day was coming, but it came too quickly.

Sister Gaudiosa -- my sister in Christ, my Tanzanian friend, my inspiration for all that is good -- is returning to her native country. I cannot express how she has touched our lives, and I still marvel at the miracle which brought together two women from different countries, who grew up in two very different cultures, both of them living very different vocations.

After I heard the news, I knew I wanted to give her something, but what? She can only take back with her what she can carry; in fact, in the past two weeks she has been giving away all her possessions. In the end, I gave her the only thing I could: I went through my blog and printed out all my "sister stories", I made copies of articles I had written for Canticle Magazine and the Marianite which were about her, and I put all these in a packet and mailed them to her. There were a lot of stories.

She leaves this week, and in a recent email she said she has nothing to give me but her prayers.

Only her prayers, she says. To me, that is everything, and I am richly blessed.

Asante sana, dear Sister.

Hello Maria,
Happy Thanksgiving. My goodness you suprised me  when I found all the stories about me. I spent a lot of time reading and laughing.  You are a good writer. It was a long journey where I came from. I do remember the first time I came to visit you. Timonthy was like two years old. He crawled and hid himself back to the coach for few minutes, and then he came to me with a big smile and he started playing with me and we became friends.
You will be in my memories and prayers. I hope I will  see you again. Nothing is impossible to God. I appreciate for your gift. I have nothing to give you expect my prayers and just the words, Asante sana. Karibu Tanzania.
Lala salama or usiku mwame.



Ray V. said...

Having spent three weeks in Arusha and Moshi back in 2007, I am fortuante to be able to have the insight of what you are speaking. The people and especially the Religious of that part of Africa are simply amazing. They are typically the epitome of "Joyful and Grateful". Lucky for you to know her.

Maria (also Bia) said...


I have interviewed several people who have returned from mission trips to Africa, and they all say the same thing: the joy, gratefulness, and exuberance for life is truly inspiring. How wonderful you were able to spend three weeks there. Our Sr. Gaudiosa has stayed with us four times (two times over Christmas, two times during the summer) and we will miss her greatly.