Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Friends, Old and New... and Kinshasa, Too!

(Usually, you do not know which it will be.)

New friends, Steve & Chelsey Itejere and their newly adopted
little baby girl, Leyna.  They are from Raleigh, NC.
We had them for dinner last week & then picked them up,
along w/ another adopting LDS couple, for Church on Sunday.
Mac Coleman is a retired A.F. officer working for the State
Dept. to train Congolese soldiers fighting in the DRC east.
That has to be pretty tough, but he is a real softy inside.
We 1st met him on his way to Kisangani some weeks ago,
when he dropped by the Mission Office.
Now, he is doing some de-briefing in Kinshasa before
heading back to his family in Houston, TX for Christmas.
In the category of "old" friends (sorry, Anita), this
wonderful friend sacrificed time, effort & energy to
vacuum pack a large supply of RELIV to me.
Chelsey had 1/2 a suitcase she offered to fill coming here
and Mac will bring the rest when he returns in Jan.
This just proves that angels come in short and tall sizes! 
It seems amazing that, after growing up in Florida,
I never noticed the "spike" that begins a new palm leaf.
This is the view from my desk at the office.
Remember the post about the challenges of living in a small
 apartment and getting attacked by large, poke- out doorknobs?
 Here's proof!  That bruise covers a lot of the upper arm.
We are always expecting someone to fall out of these taxis.
A conservative dress in fabric and style.
A pretty one that's a lot more colorful.
There is NO end to the variety and creativity of these women. 
Wish it had been a better view, but quite pretty with the yellow
heels to complete the outfit.
A VERY expensive vehicle.
And, not so much...
Two of these men were holding hands.
There is something about this act of friendship that I love.
Just had to laugh at the juxtaposition of a rather tough
looking guy with his stuffed animals hanging down.
Are plaid suits sophisticated if they have elbow patches?
One interesting thing which is seen very frequently
is that the label on suits or dresses which is loosely stitched on
& taken off immediately in America, is kept showing in Congo.
A pretty dress AND a view seen a hundred times a day.
These guys serve with their voice & hand signals,
as the bus "sign"... that informs people
 who are waiting where the bus is going.
The bakers at the Patachou Patisserie must have had fun
making the chocolate "log" and all the goodies.
(We noticed that some of the volume of items was
more sparse in the back... someone's been sneakin' stuff!)
A highly idealized view of our apartment building and the plaza.
We are on a point of land that juts out into the Congo River.
"Mbote" is Lingala for "Hello", "Souriez" is French for "Smile"
Both languages are spoken here, (as well as Swahili or Tshiluba)
The office assistants think it's funny that I've learned some of them. 
George thought that some might be interested in this old style truck.
We also see old Korean War era trucks.. Hand-me-downs
that have gone through how many countries?
This woman was so perfectly outfitted.
I love the Congolese dresses, but appreciate the western look, too. 
Just above the large white sign is our apartment
and the roof / porch that we sometimes use to "people watch". 
Putting a palm frond braid around your head indicates a death
of someone close to you.  They also put them up on the light pole.
The young man from whom we buy bread tried to get us to contribute
but we declined (having been told it goes toward beer for a party)
An artist's conception of the future Police Station.
Words escape me.
As we drove toward this man who was selling a tablecloth,
I noticed the prominent red & black hat.
If you look closely, you will see that
his hat perfectly matches his plaid pants.
Give him points for coordinating.
Numerous human street sweepers are busily working every day.
Can you see anything to sweep?  Me neither.
But they stand in one spot and move the broom a lot.
What are these guys going to do with two tree limbs?
Root them?
One thing wonderful I love about the people of the Congo,
they follow the way of "Provident Living"..

No comments:

Post a Comment