Sunday, May 19, 2013

We are really here again!

Wahoo... It's been 3 days of our waiting for our internet to have a spurt of activity, and now I can write again. 

After a 26 hour trip from Salt Lake to Kinshasa, we arrived at 8:30 pm.  It took about an hour to get through customs and get our baggage.  A man by the name of Antoine met us and took us through the procedure.  Our mission president and his wife, the Jamesons, were at the airport with the Billings, who we are replacing in Kinshasa.  They were full of energy and information.  They brought us to our apartment and helped us settle in.  It was almost midnight by the time the Billings left us.  What great mentors these 2 couples are to us.  This is a photo of the Billings on our first field trip... to see the Bonobos (cousins to chimpanzees.)

Over the following 24 hours we were very welcomed by the four other couples serving here.  We have the Moons who are the humanitarian couple, the Bybees who are the church public relations couple, the Smiths who work in the mission office and the Billings who are the construction education couple.  The Billings are training us until June 3rd, and then they will move on to start the program in another mission in the South DRCongo.   Three of the couples have had us to dinner, one brought dinner in… and then we had a “Welcome to the Gates Dinner” on Tuesday night at the mission home.  The couples are very cheerful, dedicated and unselfish.  It is an honor to work with them. 

All of us, except the Jamesons, live in the American Aid Building.

  There are offices for all kinds of Non Profit organizations that are here in Africa to help in various ways.

  There is also a 9 story tower with about 2 apartments on each floor.  We are sometimes lazy and take the little elevator.

   On the top there is a BarBQ and table and chairs.  From the roof the view of the city and the river is fun.  We are in a one bedroom apartment until the Billings move on to their new assignment.  Then we will move into their much nicer, two bedroom apartment.  But ours is fine for now.    We have running water (hot and cold) and air conditioning.  We have electricity most of the time.  Our little kitchen has a strange pillar in the middle of it.

They build things like that here in the Congo. If you look in the sink you will see the white container that I always have in my sink.  It is a mixture of water and Clorox.  We have to soak all our vegetables, fruit, eggs, dishes, etc. to try to keep us from getting sick.     Our internet is very sporadic… and very, very, very slow.  However, we are grateful for it… and we got to see all 6 of our kid’s families on Skype on Mother’s Day.  Our floors all tile and we have huge windows which make it very bright and cheerful. 

Dad is a missionary again... He is ironing his white shirt for church.  Life is good! 

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