Our 36 Day God Adventure in the Bandundu

Day 25 : Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not a good night sleep though I was so tired.  The bed is small and very hard.  Every time I close my eyes I feel as though we are still moving in the car.  Isn't that only supposed to happen after being on a boat?  Up early because I couldn't sleep anyway.  I will definitely be lying down later.  Glad for our rest day before starting the training tomorrow.  I have laundry, of course, to do and I need to work on my course but at the moment I just feel like sleeping.  We will, no doubt, go for a walk later on around the mission station.
We had breakfast later than usual because we were waiting for Esther.  No doubt she'll catch on to our team's habits over the next few days.  After breakfast, Pastor Pierre benefitted from the presence of everyone to ask Esther how she was doing.  She was able to recount the story of how she found out about her son's death and her trip to the city of Lubumbashi.  It seems that he was poisoned - a ploy often used here when people want to get rid of someone.  What a heartbreak!  He was preparing for his upcoming marriage for this September.  He was her oldest son and only 33 years old.  Esther seems to be doing quite well.  Each one took time to comfort her and then we prayed together.  Good to be part of a team.
After breakfast we went out for a walk down to the port.  There were dugout canoes that take people acrosss the Kwenge River.  This is where I guess you  can sometimes see hippos.  Not so today.  In one dugout there were 15 passangers, a bike, all their stuff and 2 paddlers.  It didn't look terribly reassuing to me!  We were told it's 100 Congolese francs to cross.  Also at the port there were barges built of 25 litre plastic containers of cooking oil.  They are strung together and then a paddler or two will take them down river to Kin - 4 days and nights!  But we were told that it's quite dangerous.  No kidding!  After we walked past the church and went to see the hospital.  It is very large and I think it must have a good reputation since people come from far away to be treated here.  In the exterior, family members were lying or sitting on grass mats.  It's up to each family to provide food and cook for the sick.
Today is definitely cooler - very agreeable after the heat of Sala.  I got caught up on some laundry while the guys took the car to get the baggage rack repaired but it is not a good drying day.
We had a visit from immigration.  Don't ask me how but they always know when ex-pats arrive in town.  Always the same story - "we just want to verify identities" but soon they want you filling out papers, and of course, those papers cost something.  After showing our passports, we left the pastor from Vanga and Pastor Pierre to work it all out.
The cell phone tower is out of order today so that means no calls and no internet.  Personally I think there's little hope of that being repaired while we're here but I will still hope for the best
While Richard and I were sitting on the porch, an English teacher stopped by for a chat.  Vanga was first established in 1912.  Across the road under a tree is where the Christians first met before the church was built.  In the mission station there are approximately 200 families and that doesn't include the village surrounding it.  The visit ended up a little weird - he told us he wanted to be friends but I think that's equivalent to asking to borrow money.
Rains came again so I dashed out to get our clothes which still were far from being dry and strung them up in our room.
Power came on right on schedule around 6PM for a few hours.  After a simple supper we watched a documentary on a South African church and its many development projects.  Pierre showed some us clips of his church construction but I bailed early - just too tired.


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