Wednesday, October 14, 2009


This past weekend I went to church in Mapaki. I am not religious, but I was interested in seeing how the service was conducted. The church here is a Catholic church, and the priest rotates between communities. He is in Mapaki every 3 weeks. I happened to attend on a day he was here.

The sermon was interesting. The priest spoke in Krio, which was then translated into Temne, so I could follow along quite well with what he was saying. The sermon was about the importance of equal and respectful relationships between men and women, and the importance of communication and faithfulness in marriage. The priest talked about how women should be seen as equals and how men should tell their wives about their activities, and treat them fairly and with respect. He emphasized communication a lot. He also talked about the importance of being faithful. He even assured people that it was ok to have sex during pregnancy and after childbirth and that this could not be used by men as an excuse to cheat.

I’m not a church-goer, but I imagine this topic would perhaps not be as likely to come up at a church service in Canada. I thought it was a good message though, especially the emphasis on equality between men and women.

Later that day I was telling one of my friends here about the service and the topic, and this led to a long conversation about love and marriage in Sierra Leone and Canada. I explained to him the whole concept of dating, which he found quite interesting. He was also very surprised to find out that in Canada we don’t practice the custom of paying a bride price (lucky thing for my husband that we don’t!). But we both agreed that getting married can be an expensive and time consuming affair :-)

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