RSS

Category Archives: 12 Days of Christmas in Congo

12 Days of Christmas in Congo – Africa’s Switzerland

IMG_0115We drive up the low mountains–very well paved road so far in Rwanda as we make our way on Christmas Day from Kigali to Congo. Traffic is “good” Bintu says meaning it is not as bad as usual. We do stop for a small wreck. A mini SUV as lost one wheel off the curb and is stuck. No wonder, the curb is 3 feet (over a meter) sheer drop. The SUV probably sits on its axle.

I know that sound–the drop, the clonk of your metal car frame on paving. I did that backing out of a friend’s driveway in Kentucky when I was in school at Murray State University. Just like at home, someone with a big truck and a chain is pulling the car out. The wait is not long and we are moving quickly.

Not like home, the military police with guns stop our car. One stands at a distance. One ventures close, bent over, body turned sideways (suspicious?). He inquires of the driver who only cracks the window a few inches and reaches for paperwork. The gunman doesn’t want to see it. He prowls around back looking over our luggage from outside with only a brief glance at the passengers. I slipped my camera away, not wanting undue attention. Bintu types away on her laptop. She and I keep talking about the Biblical financial seminar I will give. Neither of us glances at the armed man outside. All is well and we are sent on our way again.

There are more people out than I expected, walking or 2 to a motor bike, buses packed full, some bicycles–and oh the dresses! Several women wear beautiful full-length gowns in often bright patterns, sometimes soft. I want to stop to ask each one if I can photograph them.

Crazy Kristin. We have a 6 hour drive.

I ask Bintu where all the people are going? Most are coming home from Christmas Day Services.

I am like Scrooge–awake to life all around me and just realizing the day.

What day is it? Why Kristin, it’s Christmas Day!

I say, “Joyeux Noel” to everyone (everyone I speak to anyway). The “el” in Noel refers to God just as it does in the names for God used in the Old Testament (El Shaddai, El Elyon, Elohai) and   nee or no is birth.

It is a great day to drive through these mountains. Bintu informs me that Rwanda is called the Switzerland of Africa. I crack the window to enjoy the cool air. Mountain jungles do not scream Christmas–though the present I am looking for is around another hour of bends.

——————————–

Kristin King is an author, publisher and president of non-profit Future Hope Africa. She is spending what she calls the “12 Days of Christmas in Congo” visiting the educational mission.

 

 

 

12 Days of Christmas in Congo – Rwanda Shopping

IMG_0015 IMG_0016 IMG_0017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With hello food I am trying to figure out if they deliver bourbon coffee or coffee as well as bourbon–and are those really the top items to put on your business banner?

I am always on the look out for hats to put in my FB album of them. These gi-normous sieves caught my fancy.

Jaime and I had to try the bubble gum flavored milk. As expected…it was not stellar.

________________________

Kristin King is an author, publisher and president of non-profit Future Hope Africa. She is spending what she calls the “12 Days of Christmas in Congo” visiting the educational mission.

 

12 Days of Christmas in Congo – Merry Mosquito Christmas

bedThere’s nothing like waking up on Christmas day to mosquito netting to remind you where you are and that your everyday dangers have changed. Of course, danger is part of every day life in America too. What fool hurtles down the road at 70 mph (okay..75) in a metal box?

Oh yeah, that would be me.

While I don’t like getting stung by a bee, I am not allergic (and the silver lining is that my mild outdoor allergies will be better for a season after a sting). Bugs do not usually inspire my caution. In the heart of Africa, matters are different.

Those who live here may have malaria regularly and recover and build antibodies to fight the disease born by mosquitos. Folks like me, who have never had the disease or any resistance built, are more likely to become gravely ill. Some people, indigenous and otherwise, die from the disease.

Christmas morning 2014 I wake, see the netting, and am grateful.

Merry Mosquito Christmas!

(Now, which bag did I pack the bug repellant in?)

________________________

Kristin King is an author, publisher and president of non-profit Future Hope Africa. She is spending what she calls the “12 Days of Christmas in Congo” visiting the educational mission.

 

Tags: , ,