Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Women's Day

Tuesday, March 8th was women's day! It is wonderful that they have a day to celebrate women around the world. This years theme was UNITY. While I couldn't understand most of what was said I could see it in how everyone worked together.

What did I enjoy about women's day?

Well, it was especially fun to get my very first Congolaise outfit and see what all the others had made as well! These are called uniforms here because we were all supposed to match for the parade.

It was also fun to follow the drum beats and do some dancing and singing while we walked down the dirt road. They were all impressed that this white lady could dance!

After the parade, all the white ladies were escorted to a shaded area behind the mayor/chief of Nyankunde. We were honored. Because it was very hot, we were told that one parent could leave with the children, but one needed to stay and watch while all the important speeches were made. Because it is women's day, we decided we would stay in the shade and the men could watch the children. It finished around 2pm, then we all headed to the MAF hangar to start the lunch ceremony. After another 45 minutes of singing, a short message, and some introductions it was finally time for lunch. Today they served us Sombe, rice, and pork in a palm oil. Very tasty!
Around 4pm we were all very very tired! The kids especially as today they didn't get any naps.
We all piled into the Caravan for a very quick flight back to Bunia.
Wow, what a day!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Praise the Lord"

This past week a friend, Banage, who attends our weekly Bible study had a baby girl! They named her Tusimi which means "praise the Lord" in the Hema language.
I had the privilege of visiting her at the local hospital after she ended up with a c/s by an inexperienced doctor. Thankfully both her and baby girl are doing great! Please pray that she continues to recover well!

In these cases, failure tasted pretty good!

I really like yogurt for breakfast! I decided a couple months after arriving I would try to make some yogurt. How hard can it be? I went to the local cafe and ordered some yogurt. I asked for 1 small bag, but somehow ended up with 4. huh? Oh well. I'm not sure if its the owner's lack of French ability or my inability to speak it well. So I go home and follow the recipe that I had. Excited, I retrieve it after its 'sit' time. It doesn' t look quite right. Its all curdy and tastes really sour. I put it in the fridge, hoping maybe time will make it into something worthwhile. It turned out I was right. A month later, my friend came by and I asked her, " Is there anything I can do with this yucky-looking curdy stuff"?? She tells me how to strain it for a few days. The result: cream cheese!YUM!Interesting how something that looking so unwanted ended up being a special treat. For Chris' birthday he usually likes cherry cheese pie. This was perfect! He ended up with a whole cherry cheesecake.
I tried a second time and well.. we ended up this month with another treat (no yogurt again, try try again). This time the cream cheese has been make into yummy frosting for homemade cinnamon rolls!
The good news is that I FINALLY did figure out the secret to making beautiful, yummy yogurt!

Here is the recipe I use:
1 cup hot water (not boiling)
1 cup cool water
1 cup milk powder
-mix, then add 1 Tablespoon yogurt starter (I used the last little bit from the previous batch).
Cover, then put in a warm place (like under blankets and towels in your bed) for 5-6 hours.

Usually I mix in a bit of sugar and a bit of vanilla flavoring then sprinkle some granola on top.

In this case I'm glad about my failure because then I never would have known that I could have cream cheese here or how to go about making it! A special thanks also to my friend Suzanne who gave me the "secret" to making successful yogurt here!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Laundry day!

I've had people ask me what a typical day is like here in Bunia. Honestly, I can't really say there is a typical day. It seems that here in Bunia you must go with the flow. Here is usually how it goes with just the laundry:
You do laundry when you have electricity.. or at least try. If you don't have it for a while, then you have to let it power the batteries first. Then if there is still enough to do a load: WONDERFUL! If not, which is more typical, you turn the generator on. Usually before any of this either me or my guard fill the machine with water (if its me, I put the hose in there and set the timer for 10 minutes while it fills). I make sure all the electricity in the house is turned off (including the fridge), then I can start the washer. After I start it I watch our electrical unit to make sure it can handle the load alright and isn't going to shut off. Then I can relax until I hear splashing of water as it drains the soapy water (which Kaitlyn LOVES to watch and laugh and play in). Then its back outside to to begin adding water again for the rinse cycle (another 10 minutes).Once filled, the machine is started, the electricity watched and soon the load of laundry will be finished and ready to be put on the lines (sometimes twice if a storm comes through). Once dry, they get folded and put in the spare room to sit for 48 hours so that any mango worms with hatch and not pose a threat to our skin. We've been told that they will hatch in about 24-36 hours, if you wear clothes before the elapsed time they can potentially burrow into your skin. Not life threatening but not fun either. SOo I give them 48 because somehow burrowing worms that live in underwear could be a bit scary!! You can also iron all your clothes, but I don't own an iron here.. yet.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Sometimes you have to choose a life of joy even when circumstances are less than perfect! Life here is Congo is not easy, and often can be frustrating, but I am choosing to live joyfully and have fun no matter where I am! Please read along as I share my life with you...