Gotta move along now; this is longer than my thesis! We left for Kinshasa by Hewa Bora Airlines. You kind of have to wait until the plane arrives and refuels before you leave. So we spent 2 1/2 hours in the waiting room, but there was TV! A martial arts movie in Chinese. What can I say? I don't speak Chinese. Nice conversation with Reverend Joyce, who works at Istha. Several good conversations while trying to ignore the TV. Pleasantly surprised by the aircraft - MD 82's - pretty new, compared to the 737's I'd been flying in. The instructions on the plane are in English - and, you guessed it - Chinese. I've said for a couple of years now that the Chinese have a big investment in minerals and other enterprises in Congo. So this came as no big surprise to me. A good flight. Again, no pics. ESPECIALLY not at the airport or of the plane! I respect the gov't's proscription of photos.
OK. After a stop in Kisingani we arrived in Kinshasa at night. There are few stop lights on the road from the airport, yet there are a gazillion cars. And it was raining hard. And there was mud. Glad to finally arrive at our resting place... to find a brand new apartment, 2 bedrooms, a/c and a shiny new bathroom complete with shower and flush toilet! Those who have been to developing nations will understand what a HUGE deal this was for us.
Except there was no running water. So back to the bucket bath, which is a blessing, considering how tired and dusty we were. $60 a night = a good price, but without water... no can do.
Monday: arrived at the Cathedral (also known as Basalacala, the street it is on). Much work has been done since August... it's looking gooood. with still more to do.
To passport office. again no photos - government building. Hot? it is hot, Hot, HOT! you can feel the sun burn your skin. Looked for ATM - finally found one at the Grand Hotel - which is just that - GRAND. One of the oldest hotels in Kin just renovated. The emerging problem for me is the cost of airfare from Bunia to Kinshasa, then to pay 360 from Kin to Mbuju-Mayi, then 740 from Kin to Kampala before going home. REalized I have to cut trip short, no "extra" money.
Lunch at a restaurant our driver Claude took us to. I am beginning to realize,by the stares of people, that I am not African. But this is 10 days into trip, so... this should come as no surprise.
Then back to the Cathedral for worship. More in next post. Kwaheri.