(A to Z Blogs April 2015 – Back to Africa)
Alone in our room, my niece and I stay up late talking. At one point there is a lull and my gaze rests on the window, the screen, the metal frame built around the glass and the bars outside. Gates and bars are everywhere. In the US a “bad” neighborhood is sometimes recognizable by such additions. If we keep thinking that way, all of this East Congo city we’re visiting appears to be the bad neighborhood.
Every property a gate, every window with bars, every gate a guard. Security? The rebar view of life.
“The bars should make me feel secure,” I say to my niece. “Instead the need for the bars makes me a little anxious.”
“Yeah,” she says. “I was thinking the same thing. It made me wonder if I was going to wake in the middle of the night to someone trying to get in.”
“No,” I say.
We play a game on my iPad and talk till midnight. Then we both sleep very well.
Kristin King is an author, publisher and co-founder of the nonprofit Future Hope Africa which is based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is from Kentucky (USA) and lives as an expat in Holland.