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Category Archives: Future Hope Africa

Meet our Students – Joyce MUKE #Africa

Meet our students in Congo. This is the first in a series for my cause, Future Hope Africa. Check it out.

Future Hope Africa Blog

My name is Sandrine KALUME. I am one of the teachers working with FHA to assist the children in their schoolwork at the Future Hope Africa Center in Nguba, in Bukavu. I have a degree in computers and I teach a homework class for the children at the Center.Joyce

I am anxious and excited to write about my cousin who is also attending the Center activities. His name is Joyce Mugisho Muke, and he is 14 years old. There has been such a positive change in his behavior and in his school grades that I wanted to tell you about him.

After 6 months of attending the Center’s activities, I have noticed a positive change in my cousin and I would like to share it. He started coming to the Center last September when the new school year launched.

My cousin was redoing his second year of secondary school because…

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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Future Hope Africa

 

My Cause

I hope you have a cause, one that lies heavy on your heart in a good way. The good way is the one that motivates you to move. To make a difference. Even if it is for only this one. This one is yours. Reach out.

My cause is over on the right on my blog page. It is at the bottom of every email I send. Just in case. Someone else my be looking. May be drawn to share this with me and with the others volunteering time and resources for Future Hope Africa.

Africa. I am more likely to watch a report on central Africa than I am to watch a presidential debate. So I share this report, because I’ve been to the lake between Rwanda and DR Congo where our education center is located. I’ve crossed the bridge where armed guards stand wary on both sides.

There are always sides. Yet, there are always places where the two sides may meet…if they dare.

 

Congolese Nativity (4th Day of Christmas)

IMG_9763This day last year I was visiting our project in Bukavu, DR Congo. I blogged extensively about that trip and invite you take a look.

How I ended up spending Christmas and New Year in the Congo is a long story. One slice of that is the adoption of our two younger sons from Kinshasa. Today’s nativity set came from that capital along the Congo river.

If you’re having trouble finding the 3rd Wiseman (or is he a shepherd?), he’s standing on the pale rock to the left. His base was digested by a doggy visitor, so we stood him in the circular crevice of this stone from Denmark.

On the 4th day of Christmas, I give you a Congolese Nativity set carved in wood. Are you interested in Nativities from around the world? Check out WorldNativity.com.

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Kristin King is an author and co-founder of Future Hope Africa, a nonprofit working in East Congo to improve the lives of children and families through education. The NGO’s founding verse is Jeremiah 29:11.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Christmas, Future Hope Africa

 

Public Transport – Spotted in Africa

Public transport in Africa is fairly diverse. These were just some of the options spotted in East Congo during my trip to our educational mission. Hop on a cargo truck, take a ferry up Lake Kivu, pay the man hanging out of the white bus window, or get through traffic the quickest on the back of a moped. I confess the only one of these options I sampled was the white bus.IMG_0769IMG_0813 IMG_0809

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 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.

 

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Z is for Zoomed By

IMG_0725(A to Z Blogs April 2015 – Back to Africa)

I love completion yet have an aversion to finishing things. So here it is half way through May and I’ve yet to post my last letter for the A to Z April Back to Africa. Today is the day, but I know there will be other posts. This last one, Z is for Zoomed By, will likely go on–become it’s own category perhaps. For now, though these are my closing sights from my trip to Africa.

  • Was that a Rwandan barn swallow? It swooped over the tea field to our right
  • An adobe type home has a silver metal circle set in the plaster to decorate above the front door entrance. It takes me a moment to realize it is a hubcap. Wonder if they saw that on Pinterest? You never know.
  • We follow a large flatbed truck with a short container. “67,200 lbs MAX,” the container’s rear says. Emblazoned on the side “Emirates Shipping.” We pass several of these.
  • Our driver accept 1/2mybeignet. We break bread together, Justin and Kristin. This moment of connection makes me smile.

    Hill side banana sales in East Congo

    Hill side banana sales in East Congo

  • A boy, maybe 8 or 9, with a staff is herding 11 goats.
  • So many little girls in their dresses and bald.
  • See a nicer building? Ask what it is. Answer, invariably, “A school.”

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 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.

 

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U is for Utilities (Africa)

Gathering rain in...totally did a double take.

Gathering rain in…totally did a double take.

(A to Z Blogs April 2015 – Back to Africa)

My friend warned me, “It’s the rainy season, so the utilities will be a little…you know.”

I didn’t know.

I figured from a previous visit to Congo that if the capital city of Kinshasa lost electricity and water for short durations fairly regularly that being all the way on the other side of the country meant more of that–especially given the season.

Sometimes we were without electricity for longer periods (like hours or maybe half the night), but our hosts had a generator they would run if they or we needed it. We ran the generator at the education center a good bit and went through a lot of gas which bothered me more. Like we were pouring money into a machine when beautiful bight sunshine was all around waiting to be harnessed. A little bummed that solar panels are so expensive, but I understand the need and the benefit in a different way now and am praying for supply.

The great thing about the rainy season is that when the running water stops running, there is still plenty. Our first few nights in East Congo the rain came down and the two 100 gallon(?) drums on each side of the house filled to over flowing by morning. I kind of wondered how many times you wash out a hydrochloric acid drum before you’re confident about drinking its contents, though.

When you travel in Europe you learn to take advantage of the restrooms at your lunch, cafe, snack stop because they aren’t available to anyone but customers. In Congo you learn to hop in the shower if someone says there’s hot water running. Otherwise our kind hosts lugged a 5 gallon bucket of piping hot water from the stove up to the bathroom for us. If I wasn’t doing the #AtoZChallenge for my blog, I would have entitled this “Standing Bath, Sitting Shower.” For bucket bath I find it easier to stand and run water by the cup-fulls as needed from the position where the water covers the most area. For the showers I sat though.

The shower head was what I tend to think of as European since I first saw them here and they are very common. They are the ones with the head mounted on a flexible hose that are terrific when giving the dog or a small child a bath since you can hold it at any angle and get in close where needed. What I don’t get is why they are mounted about a meter (or yard) above the bathtub. To relax under the stream of hot water, to wash out my waist length hair is to sit.

Our timing and schedule being as full as it was, we were mostly standing this trip. Bathing from bucket is not new to us–as my niece pointed out, she used to use the bucket method when visiting her grandparents on the reservation back before they got running water. Used frugally, the bucket had enough in the bottom to turn my head upside down and dunk my hair for one wash and rinse.

It was fine. We adjusted and came home with a greater appreciation of what we have so readily and often take for granted. Still I have to say I am especially grateful to whoever it was that invented “Dry Shampoo” that works for brunettes like us. Thank you!

At some point I told my Congolese friend, “I thought the utilities would be more of a challenge since it’s the rainy season and all.”

She frowned like she didn’t understand and I reminded her about the warning she gave me before arrival. “Oh no,” she said, “things are much better in the rainy season with all the water and everything. I meant to prepare you because it wouldn’t be like what you’re used to.”

Oh. Guess I got it all wrong–and I’ll pack more dry shampoo when I travel next time.

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 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.

 

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L is for Lake Kivu

A walk to the shore of Lake Kivu

A walk to the shore of Lake Kivu

In 10 seconds name as many continental bodies of water as you can that are in Africa…Go!

Honestly it’s not a challenge I rise very well to meet. Now that I’ve visited Lake Kivu, though, I can add another one whose beauty I appreciated first hand. Every morning I rose early (about the birds that made me do it), and found my way to the porch to write while looking over Lake Kivu.

Writing Oasis on Lake Kivu

Writing Oasis on Lake Kivu

The most famous of the African Great Lakes is Victoria, and several people I’ve met asked if I visited Lake Tanganyika when I mention the Rwandan border. Every place around here seems to have connections to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide including this lake, known as a dumping ground for many victims. This is history below the surface, hopefully as well sunken into the past as sediment into Kivu’s 1500+ feet depths.

Here in the heart of Africa is inspiration. When my day kicks off with breakfast, the busy schedule set for me by our mission’s Operations Director will over rule all else. For these early moments, redeemed time from sleep, I long for a kayak.

To skim across the glassy water by the strength of my own two arms.

To discover the shapes of creation in eddies along the shore and reflections of foreign skies and jungle mountains.

To soak the beauty in my skin, taste it in deep calming breaths, and remember the gifts of life and grace.

White buildings of the U.N.  compound cut across a peninsula but don't hide the splendor of the mountains beyond.

White buildings of the U.N. compound cut across a peninsula but don’t hide the splendor of the mountains beyond.

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 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.

 

 

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