AAA gave us a discount to use a Visa service. It seemed reasonable to not have to travel to the UN or DC to get a visa so I did it. I got mine back in the mail today!
Overall it took just over three weeks to get the two visas. This includes mailing time. I had assumed you just go to the embassy and they issue you a visa. I found out it takes a few days (they schedule four at this place) to be able to pick it up. And since you need to have your passport they can only do one visa at a time. I am glad I took care of this detail earlier than I thought I should.
I have two visas, one for a multiple entry into Burundi and one for a single entry into DRC. We do have to stop in a few other countries (Italy, Ethiopia and Rwanda) but since we will not be leaving the airport (may not even get off the plane) we don’t think we need visas.
We have the legal paperwork, but the US Department of State website says we may still have issues with customs. Apparently customs officers occasionally ask foreigners for “special” fees to enter the country. We have no control over this, and there really is no way to complain to the governments who don’t have the resources to prevent it. So this has to be a matter of prayer.