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Holy Belated Update, Batman!

October 24, 2012

So, you’ll read why, but I have no word processor at the moment, and emailing and copying and pasting was definitely messing with the look…so here it is, in all its goofy formatting.

The latest excuse for a lack of posts is that 1) we’ve been back in a
cycle of terrible power and 2) our computer has been protesting its
The power lately has been a new problem for us in the six months we’ve
been here.  Lately, instead of a long stretch of off followed by some
on, we’ve been blinking.  A lot.  Twelve times in an hour the other
day!  Or it will roll.  It’s crazy surges have ruined some people’s
electronics (one family had one phase coming in a 330 – it’s supposed
to be 220).  If you don’t understand electricity, don’t worry.  I only
know what little I do because I live in a place where it is
complicated.  We asked someone, shortly after we arrived, what they
miss most about home.  Their response is one we’ve adopted: to be able
to plug something in and not think about it.  We have to think about
voltage, amperage, hertz, inverters, voltage regulators, and outlet
adapters…and whether it’s plugged into the wall or a battery or a
solar charger.  See?  Wouldn’t you miss the carefree electricity, too?
And then our computer decided to have the beginning signs of a hard
drive crash due to some physical damage.  After much work and a lot of
boring details, we had to reinstall the OS, which would be fine, but
then we’re behind on all the updates, which took, LITERALLY, days to
download.  Oh, and all of our programs (iWork and iLife)…we brought
the discs, but not the boxes.  The boxes with the license numbers that
you have to enter to prove that you bought them.  No, those boxes are
in storage…in Washington.  Oops.  But, we’re already two OSes behind
(we still have Mountain Lion, ya’ll…old school) and so are having a
friend’s sister bring out a new OS and new software.  Yay!
Thankfully, though, through all of this, we were able to fully back up
the computer (which we do regularly anyway) and did not lose anything
of value.
All that to say, I don’t have a word processor.  So, I had three
different, semi-awesome blogs in process…and now I can’t open them.
Ah well, she brings our software in two weeks.  We can be without
until then.
In other news, we are enjoying the freedom of having a nanny.  Our
Tuesday night Bible studies have been a wonderful refreshment.  I
would say it’s less Bible study and more like structured fellowship,
in that it is very casual, but it’s still great to get together with a
group of English-speaking Christians from all different backgrounds
and talk about God’s word.  This week we had three Canadians, two
Brits, and three Americans, though Matthew and I were the only two
raised in the states, the third being an MK.  We have dinner together
and are reading through Ecclesiastes.  This week a few started sharing
their testimonies and we went with that instead.
Matthew and I have been busy hosting all sorts of people for dinner.
I would say that only about 50% of our dinners consist of just our
family anymore, give or take.  Tonight might be the first dinner we’ve
eaten with just us since Thursday, but I’ve lost track.  It’s so fun.
Monday night we hosted a doctor and two residents who had visited the
hospital at Vanga.  We actually knew the doctor from our road trip
through St. Louis.  After dinner we enjoyed games and conversation.
This past weekend was all about Batman.  The US Embassy has started
showing a movie once a month.  These movies are on special
license…they’re out of most theaters in the states, but not quite
available on DVD.  At the end of August I went with friends (Matthew
sacrificially stayed home with the kids) and saw Men in Black 3.
September Matthew enjoyed a guy’s night with Spiderman.  And this
month was the newest Batman feature.  To get in the mood, and for fun,
Saturday night we watched the original cheesy Batman movie from back
in the day.  I had never seen it and was thoroughly confused through
the entire movie…it was so funny and strange, but a great piece of
history, I suppose.  Then we refreshed our memories by watching Batman
Begins.  Matthew was all ready to watch The Dark Knight, but it was
midnight and we’re getting too old to stay up past pumpkin time.
Sunday night we carpooled out to the Embassy for Dark Knight Rises.
The movies there are shown outside, we have chairs and tables, and a
few couches, and watch from some sort of concrete courtyard while the
movie is projected onto a wall and speakers set up all around.  It’s a
nice set up.  The US Marines here, there are five or six of them, run
a bar with some drinks and burgers, along with the movie.  The burgers
are fairly priced and as close to real American as you can get here.
This particular Sunday, though, had been extremely hot.  Uncomfortably
so and just before we left and the sun went down, you could see the
black clouds rolling into the city bringing the cooling rain.  We go
to the movie, picked out a spot, ordered our food and waited for the
movie to begin.  Sure enough, just as the movie’s opening credits
started, the wind picked up.  This sent overripe mangos crashing into
the tin roofs all around the courtyard, a few leaves falling, and some
bugs and bats loose.  One bat in particular seemed to have a broken
sonar and began flying crazily around, eventually hovering over
Matthew’s lap.  It was a little creepy, considering the start of a
rather dark Batman movie.  About twenty minutes in, the Marines
decided that it was, indeed, about to rain and we all grabbed a chair
and headed inside.  It was crowded, but well air-conditioned.  It took
another twenty minutes to set up the projector, hang the bed sheet,
and figure out the speakers.  The power went out in the middle of the
mess, but the Embassy is quite generous with the generator power.
Just as we got settled to start it again, the rain began to pour.  It
was almost as loud as the movie.  Lesson: even watching a movie is an
adventure in Congo.
As of this morning, our entire family has now joined the club.  “The
Club” being People Who Have Had Mango Fly Larvae in their Skin.
Lovely, huh?  Levi, Matthew, and I all had them yesterday.  Amelia had
some back in May, remember?  What I think happened was that I hung a
load of laundry to dry, then threw it in the dryer to heat and kill
the eggs.  However, the power went out and by the time I went back out
to get it, I forgot that it may not have been hot enough to kill
anything.  Oops.  Well, no harm done…just extremely gross.
I have learned, though, that I am practically done being thrown off by
bug encounters.  I still abhor anything flying at my head, and I
really don’t want something crawling on me, but this mango fly larvae
hasn’t even bothered me a little.  Yesterday, I was digging something
out of the dryer (I couldn’t bring in the whole load because it was
raining) and found a cockroach by my foot that I knew wasn’t there
before, even though it was playing dead.  Did you know cockroaches
play dead when they’re scared?  If not, then you’ve now been warned.
Anyway, I just looked down, rolled my eyes, got the bug spray, killed
it, and went back to finding what I needed out of the dryer.  I think
it’s still there.  I only move them if they’re in danger of being
eaten by Millie.
Today Matthew and I headed to the MAF office in downtown Kinshasa,
along with mot of the MAF team to be part of the Worldwide MAF Day of
Prayer.  The MAF programs all over the world are getting together to
pray today.  We prayed for our purpose, the people to whom we
minister, ourselves and our team, and the home office in Nampa, Idaho.
It was also a great time of fellowship with the national staff that I
don’t see very often.  The main part of the program was in French,
though Lingala was used in song and prayers were said in all three
So, there’s the latest with us…hopefully I can get all of my
promised blogs up in a few weeks.  Please continue to pray for our
guidance as to our plans once our current contract expires.  There
have been some interesting developments and we will hopefully know
more by next week, but meanwhile it’s all still a great matter for
prayer.  We can tell that you have been praying, but continue to do
One Comment leave one →
  1. Sue Hoffman permalink
    October 24, 2012 0829

    Would it be bad to pray that I hope you all come “home” soon? I love and miss you all . . . Then again, whatever God’s plans are, well, that’s good enough for me 🙂

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