Tomorrow ... We Buy Apples!

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Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Likasi
February 24th 2010
Published: February 24th 2010
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I would like to start by saying ... when I first came here to Likasi ... it wasn’t listed as a location on ... now it is ... I’ve got some pull.

I last left you to prepare for our Toyota church leader’s training ... our first meeting with the pastors of Toyota was almost 2 weeks ago now and we’ve had 3 meetings since ... our 4th and final is this Saturday the 27th of February ... where we will present those in attendance with big certificates ... that have taken me almost a week of preparation. Other than the certificates the training has gone AMAZING! All the pastors have been super interested and receptive of what we/mostly Erick has to say ... and once again ... they are all from different churches and are meeting and discussing as a group ... grrrreat!

The meetings haven’t only been for pastor’s though ... the nurse that recently started volunteering with the Toyota CBO has been attending as well ... HIS name is Alan and he actually knows English ... so he sits between Ken and I and translates the general conversation during the meetings so we can have input as well ... its been nice to actually follow conversation for once.

So after our Friday meeting last week Erick, Ken, and I piled into the car ... along with a few pastors and Alan ... and started home from Toyota. I had asked Alan earlier that day where he lived ... his English isn’t amazing so it usually takes a couple tries for us to communicate successfully ... anyway ... round 3 of “where - do - you - stay?” and he told me we could drop by there on our way home later that day. So on the way home we stopped off at his house ... met his wife ... and his son Mark. After the quick introductions and attempts at greeting each other we were off again with Alan and Mark along for the ride. Mark is 2 and might be the happiest child I have ever met in my life ... he was sitting on Alan’s lap next to me and the entire 10 minute drive we played laugh at my white face ... it’s popular here in Africa with the children but Mark took a special liking to the game and didn’t stop laughing the entire drive ... I joined in.

With Alan and an almost uncontrollable Mark dropped at the bus station we headed home. Upon entering the house each of us ... exhausted from a day full of training pastors ... chose a separate room ... aaaand ... TKOed. I woke up 2 hours later with a pounding head ... it was at that point that I remembered I hadn’t had any water ... at all ... the whole day. Nice work! So I grabbed our only bottle of water in the fridge and crushed most of it along with a painkiller. It seemed to help and after we ate some food for supper the headache was forgotten.

Lately ... the past few weeks ... I’ve been having a really hard time sleeping. I feel tired and go to bed at a decent hour but then just lay there ... thinking ... of all kinds of things. I’ve found certain thoughts though that lead to zero sleep ... the main one being skiing. If slipping down slopes with skis on my feet crosses my mind in any way my heart rate reaches a dangerously high level and my adrenaline starts going like mad. My fix for this ... healthy or not ... has been ... stay up as late as I can listening to music and playing solitaire until I feel like I’m about to pass out ... then I got to my bed and lay down until I finally do pass out. The following day I plan not to sleep during the day and hopefully all the lack of sleep will catch up with me and I will be able to sleep at a normal time again ... thus far ... no luck.

So after we had eaten on Friday night I resumed my usual evening ritual ... music ... solitaire ... couch.
Finally I was tired enough to accept the idea of bed ... laid down ... too hot ... blanket off ... freezing cold ... blanket on ... over my head ... shivering ... pass out ... wake up ... FEVER.

Early Saturday morning I decided I wouldn’t make it to the meeting that day ... we would be doing home visits with the pastors ... walking + heat + my condition = not great. Erick and Ken were off ... I was back to sleep.

Phone call ... 11:30am ... more of a wake up call ... Erick checking to make sure I’m still alive ... back to sleep.

When the meeting finished at 4:00pm and the guys came back they brought along Alan and another HBC volunteer from Toyota, Serge. Alan thought it was probably a good idea to ask some questions and figure out what exactly was going on with me ... questions finished ... wait ... one more ... “Are you ready for your injection?” ... “umm what?” ... “Are you ready for your injection?” ... nervous laughter ... “I guess so?”

As Serge laughs at my reaction Alan mixes the formula in the syringe ... he adds in his broken English “You don’t worry ... I have experience.” I assure him that I trust him ... Serge continues to laugh.

Shot in the back ... above my right cheek ... I still have no explanation for what exactly it was that the injection was treating ... it worked though ... back to work and only a little nausea from time to time but that could be the ridiculously large amount of cabbage, rice and eggs we eat almost everyday ... it may or may not be catching up with me ... all of us actually.

Erick and Ken got their incentives today ... which meant grocery shopping SPREEEE. Last night before I laid down for a nap Erick came into my room and said with great enthusiasm “Tomorrow ... we buy APPLES!” I laughed ... hard.

So today we went out into Likasi with a wad of cash and empty stomachs ... probably not a good combination ... but we did it. Ran up a 39,200Fc bill at one store ... the lady even had to get the calculator out ... that’s serious! We didn’t find apples but we did buy a 1kg tub of peanut butter ... something I haven’t had in a very long time ... lunch was peanut butter, butter and bread today ... oh my it was delicious. Tonight ... chicken thighs! I just started salivating.

Hope all is well wherever you are ... I’m doing just fine ... it’s March on Monday ... I think the injection stole some of my memory because February seems to have gone by much to fast.

Eat an apple for me ...

Willis Hoff


5th March 2010

Hi Will: I love reading your reports on your life in the Congo.. always looking forward to the next "blog " You are in our prayers daily.. Hope you got your apples-- didn't realize that they were rarely available. When I was on a mission trip to Haiti we saved our apples the day we were to visit the mission and took them along. We filled a tubful!!Keep well . Blessings . Grandma Pearl.

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