Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday Excitement

Yesterday, Saturday, was quite exciting. Two cars drove by (there is only one car that stays in Nyankunde) and we had three mzungus (someone with light skin) and a baby visit for the day! Mzungus are quite rare around here, there are only six, including us, in Nyankunde. One of our friends from home, Jennings, now lives about an hour away from Nyankunde in the city of Bunia. She drove up and spent the day here. There were also some other missionaries that had business up here in Nyankunde and spent the night with us. They had a very sweet 7-month-old boy that Emily and I loved playing with.

Saturday started early (6 am) with a very sick sounding goat bleeting making it impossible to sleep in. Our friend arrived about 10 as well as the other couple. We talked and caught up on life and then had lunch. Doesn’t sound exciting, but after the same 4 people at the table for a week, new faces are quite welcome. It was interesting to learn about the different ministries they are involved with here in Congo.

After lunch, Jennings went with us to the monthly market that is held a couple of miles down the road. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it exceeded anything I did expect. It’s held in a field, with no permanent structure. Some people have a tarp and strings to hang their wares on, others just put them on the ground. The market is organized in groups: new clothes, used clothes, meat, manioc flour, dried fish, shoes, fabric, rice, live chickens, charcoal, potatoes, fermented corn drink, palm oil, and much more. I was quite glad that the owners of the stands did not yell as you walked by to buy their wares.

Emily and I picked out some traditional Congolese patterned fabrics to make skirts out of when we get back to the states. One of the fun parts of the market was the sea of colors. All the women wear dresses that have lots of patterns and colors on them. Another thing that was interesting is they were clearing a nearby field by burning it, at points the fire was only about 5 feet away from the vendors, it didn’t seem to bother them at all though.

In the last couple of days we also broke into our stash of special food that a friend sent along with us. So far we have eaten the mango licorice and chocolate. The chocolate tasted absolutely amazing, it was some of the best I’ve ever had. It probably has to do with the fact that I haven’t had anything sweet other than fruit for the last week, absence makes the heart grow fonder I guess.

This morning we attended church down the road. The first difference from our church at home is the time; it starts at 7:30 am. We went to the French service that has about 40 people attending. Most people go to the Swahili service. Despite their lack of numbers these Congolese can out sing any American church. Compared to here, almost any American church that I’ve attended sounds like the people were woken up at 3am and made to sing at a funeral… Here they sing with animation and loudly while dancing and clapping. I’m not at all saying Americans don’t mean what they sing or aren’t moved by the music, but they sure don’t express it like the Africans!

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