The energy of this singer never flagged, even in the brilliant sun.

After Father Albert Shuyaka’s first Mass in Emungu on July 19, people celebrated with singing, dancing, and feasting.  Even though the sun was blazing (the diocese is less than five degrees below the equator), the heat did not deter the choirs and the drummers.

We were fortunate to be under palm branches in the arcade, but not the entertainers.  Perspiration beaded their faces as they sang and danced.  Without microphones, the singers projected their voices, the cords standing up in their necks.  It was very moving.

Sr. Helene, one of Albert's aunts, is in charge of the sisters at the Dikungu hospital.

After the singing and dancing, we sat in the shade.  It was delightful to relax and sip on a cool drink.  By this time I was enjoying a conversation with Sr. Helene, Albert’s aunt.  We had a couple of things in common: we had driven to Emungu together (crossing innumerable bridges), and were wearing garments of the identical blue and yellow fabric.  It was a pleasure for me to get to know this family matriarch who was so important to ministry in the Tshumbe diocese.

One of Albert's sisters was cooking in preparation for the luncheon after his first Mass.

Albert’s family had prepared a great feast, which included roasted chicken and goat, rice, cassava, and various fruits.  We sat beneath the eaves of a house and ate.  I particularly enjoyed the fresh pineapple!  The family made me feel like a dignitary.

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