Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The changing world (22) Aug - Dec 1971

Internment without trial in Northern Ireland. 300 arrested. 14 killed in widespread violence there. Jeremy Hinds of CMS took us to see old and new mosques and the emir's palace. We also visited Mr Sanderson. This was therefore a day with the two greatest expatriate Hausa experts. Jeremy would try out his Hausa on blind beggars to see how long before they spotted he was not a native speaker. The Sandersons had produces a revised New Testament which was rejected by the churches. They had used Muslim informants because they were the first language speakers. Nearly all Christians are second language using Hausa as trade language. When the Sandersons changed the word for Holy Spirit it was too much. The Nigerian Christians said the Sandersons were accusing them of not understanding hausa and the Sandersons agreed. That this couple were South Africans did not help. Nigeria had already expelled all Dutch Reformed missionaries from Apartheid South Africa. Their 1966 New Testament was published but never accepted.Te Hausa Bible of 1932 was not revised until 1979.
   Later, a Hausa Christian told me one reason so few Hausas converted was they had never heard the gospel for the Christians murdered their language. It was as if an Oxford don was listening to a hillbilly. A practical and humorous example was when I head in morning prayers the speaker say that Abraham sought a city with foundations. Well that is what he meant to say, birni mai tussa. But he said tusa which is a fart. No-one else saw the joke of bad hausa.
   Visited an Indian Christian zoologist starting a zoo. Photographed with two pythons round my neck but definitely not the cobra.
   A their stole from our room the radio, car blanket and some change. Police no help.  September 22 was the last rain. It stops earlier in Kano than the plateau. Met Pam Spendlove our new pharmacist. She was later to marry another colleague Eric Middleton. They had a severely handicapped son who dies a toddler and Pam died of cancer soon after. Spend quite some time over a period visiting Christopher and Ibo RC in the eye hospital for surgery. Our July allowances paid at the end of September. Visited the old city and saw the dye pits with traditional indigo tie dyeing. Also saw the SIM leprosarium at Yadakunya. The name means throw off shame. Some of the patients were heavily disfigured. I bought a hat embroidered by one of them. After colonisation the colonial administration's policy of indirect rule through the Muslim emirs kept missions out of the north until the government realised they had a leprosy problem. The only people to treat leprosy were missionaries. So missionaries were allowed to set up leprosariums but no evangelism bu missionaries. Of course Nigeria Christians could not be so restricted.
   Our friends Dick and Mavis Bulmer arrived by air in mid October. Ramadan started so some bad tempered locals. The abiding memory is the scent of oranges freshly peeled before dusk in time to break the fast. Mid November was the end of fast holiday with thousands of people to see the emir's parade of horsemen, a truly royal splendid sight. Settlement of the Rhodesia UDI problem. Visited and photographed the groundnut pyramids. There were oil mills near the mission and one saw men carting huge loads of drums of oil on the street. Early December end of course exams.By this time I was starting to get over the hump of learning to speak without mentally translating first. By the end of the course I could write out a sermon.
   December 7 left Kano for Zaria at 7:30 driving 10am, surfaced road all the way. There we saw General Gowon's head of parade. I took my best ever photo over the crowd who were being violently he'd back by the police. We lunched at CMS Wusasa and were in Jos by 6pm over a rough unsurfaced road.
   At Vom a different house on the Faith and Farm compound next to Pater and Elizabeth Clark. . Settling back we enjoyed meals with Daintys, Balfours, Maureen Hartford, Nancy Friend, Coral Citrine, Triggs, Joan Crockford (lab technician) and the Whites. Asked to supervise the three evangelists employed by the hospital. John and Naomi Nash were local Beroms, a fine couple with one daughter. Later they lost their jobs when John took a second wife. Naomi could not give him a son. Family pressure lead him astray. I was angry the church never supported Naomi. She should have been offered support in divorce not having to tolerate a new wife. But the church had a no divorce policy due IMO to a more sacramental view of marriage than a covenantal one. For them the only real marriage was a Christian one.
   Started teaching pharmacology to nursing students. Found the language spoken in the pharmacy was not Hausa but Berom. My staff were either berm or such long term residents that they understood it. So I banned berm except to patients in order to hear and learn Hausa.

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