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What Have I Gotten Myself Into? Congo Christmas

IMG_0666Movie night. Nuit du Film. What does it sound like to you? A relaxing evening off work?

When one of the Princesses suggests soiree du film, Bintu is reluctant.
“Why not,” I say. “That sounds great.” Our first opportunity to use the projector Jaime brought from the U.S. Girl time for this mother of 4 boys. A light, fun night off for fellowship and entertainment.
The plan is made. The Princesses invited.

Hours before the event I discover not only will I do a devotional–(No, I say. Yes, Bintu says.)–but a nuit du film is the ENTIRE night even though we chose only one dvd. We will be locked-up in our mission’s education center with one toilet, desks, chairs, and whatever blankets and pillows we carry in. Someone will be asleep on my pillow before I look for it.
Sometime during the 3rd movie, most of us begin to dose off. Bintu has everything turned off including the generator upon which our electricity relies. The young women sing a praise song, then we fall asleep to Bintu’s prayer and blessing. I lay my head on the U-travel pillow to try to sleep.
My hips, elbows, and shoulders do not like the concrete. I dose, I wake, turn over, dose–use, my iPad as a flashlight to navigate the blanket mounds blocking the path to the toilet. Back in my spot at the edge of the woven mat, I consider just playing games on my tablet till dawn. Consider and reject. At this point I know exactly what I’ve gotten myself into.

The next morning Rachel asks me in French, “Did you sleep well?”
Laughter bursts from my dry throat. I slap at her arm–that’s the best joke I’ve heard in the New Year.

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Kristin King is an author, publisher and president of the non-profit Future Hope Africa. She is currently visiting the mission in eastern Congo and blogging about the visit.

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