Things I Missed While in Congo:

* Jesse. Not a thing, but still something to miss beyond comprehension.

* Grocery shopping. And food sealed in plastic.

* Cooking my own food. Even though we had fabulous food while away, there is something therapuetic and irreplacable about preparing my own food. Last night, I made a simple tuna pasta dish from a Jamie Oliver book, and I cherished the movements, cutting the onion, opening cans, stirring the sauce, boiling the pasta, testing the seasoning. It was something so small, just cooking dinner, but it was lovely.

* Electricity that works consistently. There wasn’t one day we were there that we had power all day (and our guest house even had a generator). At Bishop’s house, by the time we left they had been without power for four days straight.

* Carpeted floors. I got up last night to use the bathroom and felt confused…it took me a minute to figure out what I was stepping on, why I couldn’t find my flip flops next to the bed, why the floor wasn’t concrete.

* Things that are shiny and glass that’s not broken. I can’t remember seeing anything that was shiny in Congo. When we got to DC, the airport was all chrome and glass, and I just wanted to laugh I was so happy.

* Hearing sirens. In the two weeks we were there, I heard only two sirens. One was an ambulance and one was a police truck. Normally I consider sirens to be annoying sounds, but the utter lack of them was disconcerting. Regular people don’t get ambulances. The NGO workers might get them. The rich might get them. But if you’re just a citizen and something happens to you, you’d better hope either someone can carry you, or you can get a taxi, or you know someone with a car.

I promised pictures with the next blog, so here are a few.



In the jungle with the park rangers.

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