Our 36 Day God Adventure in the Bandundu

Day 32 : Thursday, October 6, 2011

Woke up at 2:30AM.  Quick wash, pack the last stuff in the car and by 4 AM we are off.  By the time we get to Kenge (where our second training was) it's daylight.  So nice to have been travelling on paved roads!  At Kenge we get some more gas - which means a guy comes to the car with a couple of 25 litre containers of gas which he syphons into the car's gas tank.  This is Benoit's home town so his mom and dad come by to see us all.  His mom wants us to come for breakfast but we decline - we don't want to miss our ferry.  By 9 AM we are in Kinshasa province only about 180 km from home.  But we hang a right instead (so wanted to keep going straight) and the second phase of this trip starts.  We are now off pavement but it is actually a pretty good road since Bandundu Ville is the capital of this province.  A number of big pot holes - that we manage not to miss.  It is another very hot day by this time.  Our butts hurt, our legs hurt and it just keeps going on.  1 hour.  2 hours. 3 hours. 4 hours. Finally 5 hours after hitting the dirt road we arrive at the river for the boat crossing.  We're all so happy to get out of the car.  We quickly head for shelter from the sun and wait for the boat.  There are large dug out canoes that make their way across with people, wood, produce, chickens, bikes, etc.  We need to wait for the ferry that can take our car.  I'm standing because it hurts too much to sit. Pigs are rooting in the mud beside us.  At one point, Benoit  came and told me that Pastor Pierre said I should come to where he was sitting - he's outdoors under a shelter with all the police patrol.  They offer me the most comfy chair in the shade.  Feels so good, just relaxing and people watching.  Finally the ferry arrives and our car is the first one on.  Maybe another 4 vehicles, most much larger than ours as well as many passengers.  I think there were 3 plastic chairs in all on the boat and let's just say, more than 3 people!  The river was much wider than any others we had crossed but it didn't take too long to get to the other side.  While on the ferry, the immigration officers came to get our info and see our passports.  We will still have to check in when we reach Bandundu Ville - this was just the formalities  for the crossing.
Back in the car, this time with an extra passenger, a pastor.  Before we pull away from the dock, Fifi chooses and buys a couple of very large fish, still alive.  The seller bangs them on the head with a paddle to stun them and we put them into one of our platic basins.  They too join us in the back of the car for the rest of the ride.
We arrived some time between 3 and 4 PM, 11 or 12 hours after having left Masi this morning.  As we pull up to the church we get out and are greeted by several pastors.  I'm fearful they have a service planned,  but no.  Instead we walk across the road where another 10 or so pastors are waiting.  Hand shakes and then we sit.  I see beds arriving so I assume they are now preparing the place for us.  I spy what looks like an outhouse out the back.  Pastor Muzau lets the pastor know that we are all really tired and need to get installed and cleaned up. All the other team members are on thier cel phones, busy calling family. I'm looking forward to checking emails from our family later on.  Finally we are shown inside.  A rather pleasant surprise.  There is a sitting room with couches (!) and a fan (!!) and there is electricity (!!!) all the time (this is better than at home in Kin).  There is also a large dining room and enough bedrooms for all the team.  Our room has a BIG bed and an equally BIG mattress, with clean sheets and a mosquito net already in place.  The room is very clean and I have to say it all looks very tempting.  I could get used to this!  I quickly nip outside for my bucket bath (I forgot, is there any other way of getting clean?)  Others followed suit.  Very nice to have a decent room where we can go and relax.  I don't think I'll be bothered with bats tonight.  The outhouse seems good...did I just write that?  Definitely been gone way too long!
Richard is getting a cold and my legs are really aching.  Stretch out in bed and read while waiting for supper.  It seems to take forever.  I'm so tired I'd rather just skip it but have hardly eaten today so figure I better try to get something down.  Fairly quiet around the table.  Though there is electricity and internet, we're too tired to even check.  Last trip to the W.C.  Ugh.  Cockroaches again.  I'm really not liking those bugs.  But finally blissful sleep.


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