Monday, December 20, 2010

Dec 20 Day 1 Congo Trip

Finally I have a “missionary” experience. Woke up and left for Congo early this morning. We left an hour late. Boarder crossing was easy. Then we were off. Alice thought she had started the car… she had but it didn’t work. She started it again and we left the boarder. Driving along the head of the lake I kept thinking it would be great to stop and get a picture of it from this view. Well I sure got that opportunity. Driving along and the car just slowed to a stop, unresponsive. Alice tried the key a few times, the battery was fine. Randy pulled up, us girls og out to wait in the shade. It was a quiet spot along the road; wide gravel/dirt road running east to west, beach to the south and a few homes to the north. Alice and I took time to thank the Lord for protecting us from whatever he was protecting us from. After about 15min Randy had 15 onlookers, 6 men and nine children. I began to play paticake with the children; something new. One girl had trouble crossing her centerline, strange that I’m on vacation and still am thinking special education things. Later we did the “Paul Seymour quarter on the elbow caught in the hand trick”, but because of the lack of quarters in Congo we used rocks, there were plenty.
A wave of 13-16year olds came by. One got out her English lesson book and practiced with me. She started by singing “My bonny lies over the ocean”. Some of the words had been changed but the tune was the same. The crowd of children and adults was growing. I went to my backpack and got out some of my Seattle Aquarium stickers that they donated to the trip (Thanks Cherie). The children were so happy. I only gave them to the polite children. The pushy, loud ones weren’t happy when I ran out of stickers. The stickers have an octopus on them with roller skates on. A boy came up to me with a very puzzled face and said in French, “what is it” I understood his French and tried to explain in my best English and gestures. I think he was more confused from my description.
Problem unfixed we got in and were towed to guest house with a garage. Randy has come here many times and knows they are trustworthy.
After much needed lunch (1:30pm before we made it to the guest house) Terry, a good friend of the Matthewsons brought us cold soda. Mine had ice crystals in it. It was wonderful, like an orange slurpy…I was back at 7-11. Conversation started and I almost fell asleep. I needed it. Randy and I went to get our luggage and it began to rain. Randy got a tarp and I got the rope. The wind, thunder, lightning and pounding rain made it difficult to cover and tie down the tarp over the luggage on top of the jeep. Randy and I were soaked; literally not a spot on our clothing was dry. We were also very cold. It poured for 30min! Standing under the garage, we waited for it to lessen up, but we were soaked. Randy looked at me and said that if we had been driving in this rain on the dirt roads we could have been washed away by the rivers or something. Praise God for stopping us with car trouble in Uvera, a major city.

New clothes and many layers helped the cold but it persisted all evening. Alice kept reassuring us that she was sweating hot!
All evening we waited for Terry to return to escort us to dinner. Finally after being reassured he would be “right back” he came at 7pm. The fish and fries were good, Mukeke (8-10in fish fried and served on a plate whole, then eaten with the hands) I’m getting better at eating it. The first time I was scared but now I just dove in. Each time I eat Mukeke I eat a little bit more of the head, still not brave enough for the gills or eyeballs.
Back to the guest house and ready to prepare for another day of adventure.

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