Monday, May 20, 2013



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Things between me and my parents have improved with the time. We visited each other over a few years' time. I got engaged and that also helped to ease their worry over me. I guess, my life just got to be a little boring! The best cure for ennui is traveling, right?  
Africa. Even from the plane I could feel the pull of her green shores.  
The first stop was in Kinshasa, the capital of then existing Zaire. My goal was to go to the Central African Republic, but our church was banned there. I didn't know, how to reach it. I called the phone numbers that the U.S. church Headquarters had on file for Central African Republic or Zaire for a month, but all I could get on line was, sometimes some drumming and sometimes nothing. Fortunately, another person was going straight to the capital city of the CAR and called me before leaving. He refused to listen to my reasons not to travel straight to the unfriendly place. It turned out, it was lucky, though, that we talked!
I didn't know, what to expect. There were no signs in the airport building and people were milling all over the place. I was just getting fleeced of the little money that I had, when I saw a sign with my name, held by a group in the waiting area. It turned out that the man who called me was recently found by our church members in the CAR and he told them of my coming. 

Kinshasa held no visible charms.   jpeg (135×90)      The dusty, dirty, poorly developed city was not what immediately attracted me. It was people, the exotic beauty of their clothes and their vivacity, the shining white teeth and  dark twinkling eyes that captivated my heart. The women were the most appealing: they carry Africa on their backs  
Baby+on+back.jpg (1056×1548)                 just like they carry their children. I remember one of them: she had a red and orange  dress on, with black geometrical designs on it. The kid was in his sack behind her back. On her head was a huge tub of bananas that she was bringing to market. On top of the basin was an upside down table and on top of the table was a tiny stool where she'll seat. She had to walk really carefully, but you couldn't see any hesitation in how she moved. Her hips swayed, her load stayed put and we could see the kids eyes looking solemnly at us from a snug place close to his mother's body.
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