Sunday, February 20, 2011


Today a young man originally from Inharrime was ordained a priest. Inharrime has never produced its own priest or nun before, so everyone was extremely excited and proud. The mass was held in town but the church is not big enough so it was outside, in order to accommodate all 700 people who came, many bringing their own chairs and a couple hundred people standing once all the seats had been taken. People came from all over the country, including Inhassoro, a town about 400km north of Inharrime, where this young man has been training for the past few years. I counted 24 priests, plus the newly ordained one, and probably as many nuns, though they were interspersed throughout the crowd and harder to count. Four hours was a long service, but at least it wasn’t hot and didn’t rain today!
I suppose one might say I am a pretty staunch feminist, so I certainly don’t expect men to lay their coats out whenever I near a puddle. But I do miss the small sense of chivalry that exists in America. I can’t remember having a door opened or held for me in the last 17 months. Not once has a man offered up his seat to me or another woman in my presence. And I can count on one hand the number of times a man has, when the space for walking is too narrow to allow two people to pass, allowed me to pass first. In general I guess what bothers me is not these inconsequential things, but they way women are treated here.

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