Our 36 Day God Adventure in the Bandundu

Day 16 : Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fifth travel day (there will be ten in all so this will represent the first half of our travel days done by the end of the day!)  Kikwit is also our middle training session with four completed and four more to do after this one.  What all this says to me is that we are turning a corner and will be on the legs heading home!
The entire team is getting anxious to get in touch with our families - very hard being unconnected.
Though we were up by 5ish, it was still close to 7AM before we hit the road - with two extra people travelling with us, of course!  It always happens and others wanted to send more packages but were told it wasn't possible.  I mean, how many more buckets of caterpillars could we possibly take with us??
We had to pass through Feshi again where we dropped off one of the pastors.  The Church women had prepared something for us to eat but we didn't want to spend more time there so they simply packed up some peanuts for us to eat en route.  Tons of kids gathered around the back of our car and peered in.  As Richard took some peanuts, one of the kids said "Look, the white man eats peanuts too!"  Another one added his two cents to clarify "He has teeth just like us!"  Hilarious! 
Unfortunately we were detained an hour as immigration tried to shake us down for money.  At first the story was, we just need to note down your information and then you can be on your way.  Then they said that the forms we had to fill out needed to be paid for.  None of this I understand seeing as we have our proper visas for this country.  Why is it that we can't travel where we want within the country?  Evetually Pierre refused to pay because they didn't have an official receipt to give us
As always, we were told that though it was 213Km from Feshi to Kikwit, you guessed it..."the roads are good"!   I would now be rich if I got paid for every time I heard that one on this trip!  If good means that we never got stuck or had to use traction, then I guess they were right;  the roads were good.
The countryside certainly changed.  No longer mountainous area but plains and savannah. The sky seemed to be everywhere.  Few trees.  And just our ribbon of tire rut trail leading off into the horizon.
Did I tell you yet how uncomfortable those benches get with 6 people and too much stuff bumping along hour after hour? At one of the stops we made, we saw some people who had been out picking very large mushrooms so we bought some to cook and eat for our supper.  We finally arrived in Kikwit around 3:30PM.  It is quite a large town and you have the feel of being back in "civilization".  The only thing we really wanted though at that point was to get to our rooms and get cleaned up.  That was not to be!  There was, of course, a whole contingency to greet us.  We were ushed into the church.  Right up on stage at the front of course!  Singing.  Prayer.  Introductions.  As a concession to us, instead of a full service, the others were dismissed.  Food was brought - bananas and peanuts and relatively cool drinks of water and pop.  First time we had had something cool to drink since we left Kin.  But what a mess we all were!  Finally, with 2 extras in the back of the car (!) we headed out to the Guesthouse where we were staying.  Decent set up.  It seemed to take forever to finally get our bags so I could find soap and a towel and have a bucket bath to get rid of the day's dust and dirt.  Feel so much better!
Better yet, we actually were able to check internet - felt good - not as good as skyping but at least it helped to have news from the family.  Tomorrow is a rest day.  Yeah!  Laundry and my course assignment are definitely on the agenda.


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