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The First 24 Hours

July 15, 2015

We have been in Congo for about 24 hours (I think more like 26, but it took over two hours to leave the airport, soooooo…).

The travels yesterday were as uneventful as hoped.  It was very hard, though, to travel for such a long day with our tired kiddos.  We woke just after 4am, after very little sleep thanks to a cranky Axel.  We left from Geneva and landed in Brussels for a two-hour layover before boarding for Kinshasa.

We didn’t realize that our plane first had to stop in Angola, which is south of Kinshasa, so the flight felt much longer (because it was, of course).  The stop there took forever and by then our kids were completely undone.  The flight had gone well, we even got to watch some movies, but Axel especially was not cool with the situation.

However, we finally arrived in Kinshasa and were greeted with a very pleasant surprise: the airport had been completely renovated and was super modern!  The place was clean, even the bathrooms were impeccable!  The immigration line was long and we were the last ones, but the kids held up (and Axel fell asleep in the backpack).  We got through and it was time to wait for our bags.  In the past, the chaos was that someone we hired would collect our bags and get them through immigration, but the new system was calm and controlled and quite pleasant, even if it took over an hour!  We gathered all of our bags…  Well, truthfully, I had miscounted and we thought we were missing one…so, that caused a bit of sadness until we got home and realized that I should not be in charge of counting anything after a day like that!  We finally got the kids to bed at midnight (1am France time)…ugh!!!!

We slept pretty well and had power all night.  The day was busy finding things we needed form our mess of bags, greeting our neighbors and some teammates.  I even got to go on an impromptu outing with a friend who is in Kinshasa for business from the village where she and her family are missionaries!  We went downtown and she took me to the new store that is similar to IKEA (with prices that are more reasonable than anything else in Kinshasa), a couple of grocery stores that I remember well, and some other errands.  It was good to get out and see how Kinshasa has changed since our last time here.  It is really looking up – many lovely new buildings and high rises have gone in.  The traffic was just as bad as I remember.  It was really exciting to be able to communicate, too!  A friend made fun of my accent though…because I learned my French in France, it is not the same as African French!  I’m sure I’ll adjust eventually…

But, oh, to arrive during the dry season!  Such a huge blessing!  It is cooler here than it was in France!  More humid, but so nice to be able to get around and unpack and work and deal with all of the changes.  We have much work to do – the house, while it was greatly supplied by our wonderful teammates, needs some little fixes here and there (and some big fixes soon).  We are lacking most furniture besides beds and appliances.  And our shipment, praise the Lord, is in Kinshasa and will be delivered this week if all goes well.  Thank you for praying!!!

So, I am headed to bed – I think I am coming down with a cold…perfect timing, ha!  It is SO GOOD to be home.  Thank YOU for helping us get here…I’m excited to see God work through our presence here to bring Him glory!!!

*Excuse the many exclamation points…but seeing as this day is huge in the scheme of our lives, I think I’m going to leave them! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Deborah Spann permalink
    July 15, 2015 0829

    Congratulations on your safe arrival! Now I am curious as to when you think the airport renovations occurred because I would not have described it as you did from what we experienced last year.

    Evidently Sandy left beds for you? Who picked you up from the airport?

    I sent our passports/visa applications to Jessica today – we plan to be in Kinshasa Aug 29- Sep 18.

    I have enjoyed reading about your successes and challenges. Am looking forward to reading about your continuing mission!

    Debby

  2. chivepicker@earthlink.net permalink
    July 16, 2015 0829

    I am so happy for you!!! Deb

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