"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


salle d'attendre

Everything in my perfect living situation stopped working yesterday and today. For some reason - a fuse blew or something - there's no longer electricity in my room. The internet's out, and there was no hot water today (which was better than yesterday, when there was no water, period.). There's also a visiting pastor who showed up last night, which means I have to sit at the dinner table for 4 hours through conversations about people I don't know. I know I have no right to complain about these things - it's enough to have a safe place to stay, plenty of food to eat, bottled water to drink. But I've been here for a month, and I'm used to things working, and, well, my amusement with Congo is somewhat limited this weekend.

In other words, I'm grumpy. That's why I thought today's picture should be of a waiting room. In Congo, we spend lots of time waiting for everything. Waiting to see someone who might or might not be able to arrange an appointment, waiting for the person with whom you'd made a 10am appointment to show up to work for the day, waiting for the bus to leave, waiting, waiting, waiting. "Haraka, haraka haina baraka" goes the proverb. "Hurry, hurry has no blessing." And so we wait, sometimes patiently, sometimes not, but always, we wait.

Since the wireless is out, you're probably going to have to wait for another blog post. The internet cafes are closed on Sunday, and I catch a boat to Bukavu first thing Monday morning. (Mercifully, I am taking the fast boat, the one that costs more and is thus in better condition than the overnight boat that collided with a pirogue and killed several people last night. Twenty-two are still missing, because the problem here is that most people don't know how to swim.) My living situation is maybe set, or maybe not, but at the moment, it appears I'll be staying at the Catholic procurate in Bukavu. (The Swedish Pentecostals are sadly full, and the Norwegian Pentecostals apparently don't take guests.) I'm doubtful that there will be much electricity or water there, but if not, I'll find something else.

Hope you all have a great weekend, wherever in this world you are, and whatever is or is not working in your life. I'll be back hopefully by Monday afternoon.


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