feeling won't last
There are definitely worse things in life than coming home at the end of the day to sit on the terrace under a sky like this. I forgot how beautiful the light is on the lake at the end of the day here. The clouds and mountains cast shadows and play with the rays to turn this place into paradise. You would be able to see a picture of it, if only the connection would let me upload pictures. Maybe tomorrow.
Today was a good day. I am still having trouble waking up at a decent-for-Africa hour, but what's new about that? I spent what was left of the morning trying to get organized with my interview questions and then headed up to Heal Africa to see whom I could see. Then the unbelievable happened...
Anna is still here! We were zipping along towards Heal Africa on the taxi-moto, and I saw a woman step out of her office compound and I thought, "it couldn't be," but it was! We were so excited and amazed at the perfect timing - two minutes later and I would have missed her altogether. It was so much fun to see her! Anna is one of my favorite people here. She's from Europe and works for a relief organization. She gave me a tour of her office, introduced me to her colleagues, and we had a really good time just catching up on life and everything else. She leaves for vacation on Friday, but is having a farewell dinner on Thursday, so it will be wonderful to catch up more then.
Not many familiar faces were at Heal Africa, but I saw Dr. Lusi and he showed me the new conference center and education building. It's quite a facility and will be an important addition to their good work to serve North Kivu's most neglected people.
After that, I went to the Catholic diocese to try to find the person who's in charge of all the Catholic schools around here. They sent me to "la procure" which would probably make more sense if I were Catholic, and, after a short wait with a university student and his brother who tried to teach me Chiluba, I had the most delightful conversation with the Father who is in charge of the schools. He's giving me an interview and also gave me a contact with the person in charge of the Catholic hospitals, whom I then set out to find.
That took me all over town, but made it possible to stop by and say hello to Nick, who's letting me pick his brain yet again tomorrow. I also arranged an interview with the medical coordinator for next week, set up to arrange another interview with an NGO staffer in the same building tomorrow, and walked over to Yesu ni Jibu to say hello to my friends. Giselle is gone. She got married, and when you get married here, you stop working and start having babies. The girls promised to say hello for me.
So the good news, after day 1, is that I have 5 interviews set up for sure, and the high probability of 4-5 more. What is so strange is how familiar, and yet how different this city is. There are new buildings. Vodacom, a cell phone company, cleaned up one of the roundpoints with new signs and stones arranged in a pretty way. They are rebuilding the destroyed cathedral.
I didn't realized that it had happened, that Goma had become a place I know so well, like D.C. But it happened, and to my total surprise, it feels like coming home.