Friday, April 1, 2016



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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.  
 My goal was to go to the Central African Republic, but our church was banned there. To me it seemed important to first go to Kinshasa, the capital of then existing Zaire to make sure, I wasn't getting myself or our church in danger by charging to the place, where we had to work underground. I didn't know, how to reach the Zaire church, though! 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 (I promise, I'm not making this up) - and sometimes - nothing. Fortunately, another person was going straight to CAR and called me before leaving. He refused to listen to my reasons not to go straight to Bangui - the capital of CAR, but, it turned out, it was lucky, 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, by a sly fellow, who "tried to help me" through the customs, when I saw a sign with my name, held by a group in the waiting area! It turned out, 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. The kid was in his sack behind her back. On her head was a huge tub of bananas, which she was bringing to market. On top of the basin was an upside down table and on top of the table - 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 boy's eyes looking solemnly at us from a snug place close to his mother's body.
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