Sister Therese

A friend wrote me a message, telling me about a German lady, who lives in Africa since decades as a nun and founded several dispensaries. If i’m passing by that area i should visit her, he suggested. And indeed, it seemed i’m pretty close there anyway.

On my way i got stopped by the traffic police. Once more. While the officer check my papers he wanted to know where i’m heading to. I told him the story of the old lady, doing so many good things for local people. I admire to meet her and maybe making some photos of the place she founded, i explained. As the officer has seen my camera he wanted me to do a portrait shot of himself. I did. With a smile on both of us he let me go.

Just ask for ‚Sister Therese‘ when you reach the town, my friend advised me. And indeed, even the people on the street didn’t recognized the name of the dispensary, they reacted promptly on the name of the nun. But Sister Therese doesn’t live here anymore. The new chairman of the small hospital organized a nice chap who’s guiding me to the new founded dispensary of Sister Therese. It was about an hour drive or so. Maurice asked me to stop in a village to introduce me with the chief, who owns a shop. It’s all interesting and so much to learn about, but also time consuming. Finally we reached the dispensary and i met Sister Therese in person. After a brief tour trough the building and nearby garden, she told me her story by a soup and tea. Since she was a young girl she wanted go somewhere far. As a young nun she went to Southern Africa, studied to become a nurse and stayed many years in Zimbabwe. Many stories about trouble and terrible times, in Southern and later in Eastern Africa, but also about never ending hope and times of happiness. Her eyes are always smiling even when she’s telling dark stories. A truly strong woman, which i’d like to spend more time with, but it got late and time to leave for me. Despite the short time with her, it let a deep impression on my way out of the bush.

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