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Memorial Day Weekend

May 27, 2012

This weekend was a pleasantly busy one!  Saturday morning the girls in our missionary circle treated all of the moms to a spa event.  I had my hair done and toenails painted!  There were dainty, tasty treats and great conversations with the other moms.  It was an awesome Mother’s Day gift (the belated-ness was due simply to busy schedules).  With school ending and “summer” break approaching (winter here, of course), many of the families are darting here and there while the kids are out of school, so it may be our last time all in a group for a while.

Obviously, Memorial Day is a holiday the US has all to itself.  However, The US Embassy here in Kinshasa doesn’t want us to miss out and, of course, we all do need to remember the lives lost for our freedoms.  So yesterday afternoon we got to go to a little slice of America!  The ambassador opened his sprawling yard to all Americans living in the DR Congo for an afternoon of festivities.  It looked exactly like what I thought all ambassador’s houses would look like.  White with black wrought iron trimmings, fancy palm trees, a large tennis court, swimming pool, etc.  I didn’t get to go inside (I also didn’t get a chance to personally meet the ambassador, either, but he seemed very friendly, but the yard was all decked out in Americana and tables and chairs.  The food and fun were all paid for by Congolese vendors and sponsors.  I think everyone’s favorite part was free, all you can eat ice cream.  Nice Cream.  Sooooo tasty and, when it normally costs $15/liter, it really is a luxury.  Although, Levi might say his favorite part was the bouncy house.  Or the carnival games in the tennis court where he got all sorts of cool little prizes.  Our other favorite part was having so many friends volunteer to take our kids around and we got a break!

After we all got our food, a mix of various finger foods…did I mention the ice cream?…there was a little ceremony: the presenting of the colors with four of the six marines stationed here on embassy duty.  The national anthem was sung and the ambassador gave a brief speech thanking our service members for the duty.  It was hard to hear because of where we were sitting and, well, you know how a talkative two-year-old eats…  Despite the heat and humidity, we had a great time overall!

The colors being presented. I overheard these guys talking later that they are only in their uniform long enough to do this, but otherwise it’s so hot the uniforms actually start to deteriorate. Awesome.

Saturday evening I got a much-needed nap while the kids rested and enjoyed a bit of downtime.

This morning we headed out to church at Nsango Na Bomoi.  We took Mosengo along with us since he is working today and this is his home church.  Three of his girls were there and, while we’d met them before (you remember the picture?), it was nice to be introduced by their Dad.  Mosengo even led a song and, now that we have songbooks, it is really neat to be able to sing along with them!

Nsango Na Bomoi’s songbook is in Lingala, like the rest of the service.

We spent the afternoon running around to people’s houses running a few “errands” and ended the day with both kids in the tub for splash time.  They LOVE to be in the tub together.  Actually, they love to do anything together.  They are very close and it is really fun to see.  Of course, their fights are pretty hilarious, too, and it’s hard to intervene when we’re trying to keep the laughter to ourselves.

We have also found ourselves acclimating.  It helps that we arrived during the hottest time of year and it is now cooling to winter temperatures.  I know what you’re thinking…after living in Alaska, can anything here really be all that cool?  Apparently, yes.  I’d read that it takes six weeks to acclimate and I think we’ve been here eight.  Sure enough, we get a little chilly at night and I even turned the A/C down during one morning this past week.  Not off, mind you…it’s not that cold.  It was probably 75F or so.

Lastly, I ask you to keep many of the people of this city in your prayers.  The police and military have decided, for reasons we’ve only heard rumored, that many of the roadside stands must come down.  On Saturday, as we drove to the picnic, we watched, devastated, as droves of police officers burned stands and shops.  We saw military personnel tearing off roofs and bashing in brick walls.  Not only are people suddenly without a way to earn a living, their Congolese neighbors no longer have access to their goods!  We’re still not sure how deeply and far this will impact the people and how long the ban on these stands will last, but please keep them in your prayers.  Thanks!

One Comment leave one →
  1. ashley haden permalink
    May 30, 2012 0829

    fun memorial day weekend! to read about the roadside stands. you didn’t happen to check in on our paperwork while you were at the ambassador’s house? 🙂

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