Blessed by the Bishop

Today Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a guest on the MS Amsterdam.  He received Holland America Line’s first “Shared Humanity Award.”  Along with the award $40,000 went to the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation.  Robert Taylor, an associate of Tutu since 1980 gave a talk, relating stories about the Archbishop and talking about his work.

At one forum Tutu was to appear with the Dali Lama.  His Holiness was late so Tutu started the meeting. The Dali Lama came on stage and started poking Tutu in the ribs.  Tutu looked at him and asked what was up.  His Holiness said “you’re getting fat.”  Tutu said, “Be quiet and act like a holy man.”

Today in Stellenbosch, the wine producing center of the Western Cape, I met an elder in the Dutch Reformed Church.  He said Tutu had a wicked sense of humor and probably the finest wine cellar in South Africa.  He was one Afrikaner who admired both Tutu and Mandela.

Tutu accepted the award.  The man has a hearty laugh and I felt it honored to receive his blessing, to have our voyage blessed and his prayer for our safe return.

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