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Published: December 11th 2009
It's my 3 week anniversary! Are you excited for me?
3 weeks in the DRC(some might automatically change the C to a G) ... amazing! I think I'm getting used to things ... traffic cops and their many names ("the yellow fever" or "angry bees") and their many tactics to try and get your money, the roads and their insane potholes, always having a wad of cash broken into several smaller wads stashed in several different pockets, eating my new favorite dish ... cabbage and rice ... every meal(not complaining though... it makes ground beef taste way too good), being called "muzungu" everytime we hit the streets ... the list goes on (what what what what..)
And I've become so fond of it all. I've really started to enjoy talking to the Yellow Fever(traffic cops ... keep up) in english when they ask me for money ... and give them long explainations as to why I don't have money for them ... long explainations that when we finally pull away both Erick and I laugh at and Erick says "those guys!"
Adventures as of now ...
We have been working on expanding Hands at Work to 4 new communities around Likasi ... Kitabataba(taba?), Lwambo(goalie/captain?), Kambove, Mwadingusha, and Kolwezi(I guess I lied because that equals 5 ... and that rhymed and I'm quite proud of it). Kolwezi is 2 hours Northwest of us and we don't go there until January but I think I'm the most excited for this one. Erick has never been there ... and we will be staying for a week each time we go. I don't know why this excites me so much ... a lot of unknowns I guess. Anyway we have been super busy just going to communities and meeting with church leaders. We usually spend most of our time in the communities driving/walking around just to get a feel for the size and the areas in most need. This is where I hear "muzungu" a lot. "Muzungu" for those of you that don't know means "white person" ... and the church leaders we travel around with from the communities think its the funniest thing ever. I don't even know how the kids see me sometimes ... I'll be in the back of the jeep in the middle of the seat and we'll pass a small group of children and they will already be pointing and yelling "MUZUNGU!" This is usually followed by a stream of more little kids running from where ever or what ever they were previously doing towards the moving vehicle. I've started throwing out mad peace signs because it gets the best reaction from people. This one little girl almost fell over when I threw it out in Kitabataba ... she thought it was the funniest thing ever!
We go to Kambove tomorrow for a community meeting ... anyone and everyone is welcome and we discuss the goal and vision of Hands at Work. We'll put out an invitation for volunteers as well. Haven't been out to Kambove yet so I'm pretty excited to see another new community and the people who want to help. Its always amazing to see how many people want to get involved. Lwambo was amazing! We went just to share the vision with some church leaders and introduce ourselves .. by the end of the meeting they had voted amongst themselves and decided on a leader and had all exchanged phone numbers to plan their next meeting. Let me add they were all from different churches ... Erick said that getting church leaders to understand that we are not working under just one church is often the hardest part ... so Lwambo was amazing!
Sunday I leave for Zambia ... Christmas break! I feel really bad leaving Erick here to deal with some of the garbage thats been going on but I don't have any choice. My visa expires on Monday the 14th ... wah wah. Super excited for Zambia though! Victoria Falls for Christmas ... it's alright I guess ... not bad! I'm meeting 2 Hands volunteers in Kabwe next week and we'll start our epic adventure south on Friday the 18th. Christa has planned pretty much everything for us including where I will be staying for the week in Kabwe while I wait for her and Tina to arrive/finish work. Apparently I'll have a shower that works ... I need a shower ... and no Helen I don't have lice but thank you for the detailed information on the symptoms you sent me via email ... very helpful in the diagnoses.
T-minus 1 day and the journey back over the border begins again ... yaaay!
My life since touchdown in the DRC ... check ... time for sleep? ... check
Love you all and thanks for staying interested in my journey. Sorry it's taken so long for an update again. No idea if or when I'll be able to write again over Christmas but I'll try. Pictures when I get back to Likasi for sure! I'll be back here the first week in January some time ... ayah!
Right on ... much love ... eat a snow flake ... I tried hail ... bad idea
Willis Paul ... out
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