Joe Mavungu's Visit
One of the interesting visits I can remember is when Joe
Mavungu from Zaire stayed with us for a couple of days. We
knew he was visiting in Olympia and expected him the next
day. Much to our surprise, his host drove him to Seattle
a day early and they arrived just as we were eating clam
chowder. Joe had never eaten a clam, and tried to force down
a little, but we could tell he wasn't enjoying it.
He wanted to know how we caught the clams so the next day we took him on the
ferry to Vashon Island and to Camp Burton, our American Baptist
Camp. Because his feet were small he could wear my boots,
and we loaned him a stocking cap and a warm jacket. We walked
to the beach and showed him how to dig clams. Was he excited!
But we didn't make him eat them.
Before the ferry left Seattle we had time to visit the Pike Place Market where
he felt right at home. He bargained with one woman who was
selling necklaces for $1.00 and got three for a dollar.
I remember as I was driving him to a meeting one afternoon, he told me that the
thing that impressed him about our country was how young
women looked and acted, because in his country they age early.
He couldn't get over the fact that here I was older than
he and driving a car.
We knew Joe was going to attend the Billy Graham meetings in the Kingdome, but
didn't know he had any part in the program. I attended just
one night, and, luckily, I picked the night he gave the closing
prayer. I can still see him coming into the Dome at the end
of the line of dignitaries, all rather tall men, and here
came Joe Mavungu at least a head shorter.