Having experienced the shock of the poverty the day before, I was better prepared for the drive back out to Nayngezi. We stopped for bread, and while we waited in the car we watched the police hassle drivers to get money out of them. I just kept thinking “please don’t drive down that road, we are muzungu.” Luckily our road went the other direction. Here you can see some shots of the trip out of Bukavu. We got out of the city and into the beautiful rolling hills of banana trees. And eventually ended in Nayngezi at the Shiloh Center. It turned out to beRead More →

We had thought the plan was to leave for Nayngezi the next day when Flory returned from his trip. It had been decided for us that our training would not start until Wednesday for various reasons we did not understand that included the presence of the other US group and the arrangements for transporting the women. So we spent the morning seeing some of Bukavu with Flory’s cousin. The city turned out to be larger and busier than we imagined. Here are a couple views from our morning. I began to understand what Victoria had meant by the women of Congo being so elegant. BukavuRead More →

We had no idea where we were going to spend the night in Bukavu. As it turned out, Flory’s cousin had a house in Bukavu and he had arranged for us to spend the night there. The house was nice in Bukavu standards. It overlooked Lake Kivu and was next door to the General’s house. From here, Bukavu looked like a town on the Mediterranean. We found out the next morning that we are guarded by the army because of the proximity to the General. Some of the men let us take their picture. The view of the lake was so beautiful. It actually madeRead More →

We drove out of Uvira and saw some of the highlights of life in the Congo. For example, the women doing the laundry in the river. We started to see some of the variety of architecture we associate with Africa, such as the round hut. We even had opportunity to stop by a roadside stand for oranges. This was the Congo equivalent of a Quick Stop on the express way. The children we passed all wanted to see Muzungu and everyone wanted their photo taken. Then we hit the mountains. Because we did not have multiple entry into Congo, we could not take the goodRead More →

After the exciting ride out of Bujumbura we were at the boarder to the Congo. You are not allowed to take photos at the boarder so I will have to describe it. First, you come to a gate and have to get out of the car. You go to a small dimly lit room where you hand over your passport and answer some questions while they write your information in their log book. There are a lot of people just standing around outside the office with no apparent reason. After being approved, you walk past the gate, through the neutral zone to the next gateRead More →

Driving to Bukavu from Bujumbura was an adventure. Flory began calling it our “Safari” and we complained about the lack of lions. As we wrote before, city streets in this part of the world are busy places. They may not have the heavy motor traffic seen in more developed countries, but the motor vehicles are there in high enough quantities to cause congestion. On either side of the street you will find crowds of people walking fom here to there. The motorbikes and bicycles carry thier paying passengers, and the livestock must be moved. Like we said, busy places. To make it even more interesting,Read More →

We were picked up at the airport and taken to a hotel for pastors. At only $10 a night the price was right, but we were not able to leave the hotel without Flory. We walked to the market and down to the lake to see some of the sights. This is Flory and Amina on the beach of Lake Tanganyika: This first night was a difficult one. We were dropped into a city we did not know where they spoke languages we barely understood. Then we were left alone at a hotel. We are so accustomed to our lives in the US that notRead More →

We were not successful at hiring a car and driver to do a safari, so we took the bus back to Bujumbura. our flight is not until Tuesday, so we have a few days to visit the town and do some shopping. It also gives us time to relax, process all the events of the last weeks and prepare to go home. Tonight is our first shower since we left the US. We did have hot water at one hotel, and were able to take a bath. This hotel is a shower but no hot water. I am completely exhausted from the journey. We spentRead More →

What if everything you thought you knew about life in Africa was wrong. Tammy and I prepared for the lack of clean water, no electricity and primitive plumbing awaiting us, but we had no idea to be prepared for the reality of life for the Africa women. There is no reverence for women or birth. Women are abused at the clinics. Their husbands demand sex immediately after birth. There used to be midwives, but they have died out. There is no sharing about the female body between mother and daughter. Breastfeeding is basically abandoned by 2 months of age because the mother in law demandsRead More →

We arrived in Kigali last night. What we thought was going to be a short trip to Rwanda was actually a 6 hour drive! Yes, the Rwanda boarder is only minutes outside Bukavu, but Kigali is in the center of Rwanda. So we piled into the cramped bus and by some miracle we and our luggage all arrived in once piece. The drive was actually interesting, in a cramped six hours with one bathroom stop sort of way. We spent two hours driving through the rain forest – and yes I saw monkeys on the side of the road. When we thought about it, monkeysRead More →