Monthly Archives: July 2004

Live update, from Linea

This came in from Linea this morning:

I will try to sum up some of my most memorable experiences of the past week.

First of all there was the trip from Gemena to Karawa.  75 Kms  Three and a
half hours.  Jacques Kongawi has a joke that began to take on a new
meaning.  “how do you tell if someone in Canada is DWI?  They weave all
over the road.  In the Congo anyone caught driving straight down the road
has to be inebriated.”

The actual distance covered as one weaves the way around the holes in the
road (these are holes, penza!) and down into and out of holes filled with
stagnant pools of water that threaten to cover the hood of the Land Cruiser
is without a doubt longer than the 75 Kms.  The speed – how about 10 to 30
Kms an hour?  30Kms on the straight stretches without holes seemed pretty
fast – horn blaring so people and animals would get out of the way!

We arrived at Karawa late on Sunday afternoon.  Songo came by a few minutes
later.  Hugs all around.  So, so good to see him.  He is the first person I
trained to do dentistry.  Saw our old cook – he cooks for the guest house
so is again cooking for me this week.  Still bakes wonderful bread.   Other
familiar faces too.  The names are gone from my memory for most people but
they are gracious and do not mind reminding me of their name and how I
should know them.

Everyday, I teach from 8 till noon and then again from 2:30 till 5:30 or
so.  We are spending good time together.  Subjects covered are a whole
range from my prepared lectures to what they have had to deal with –
including war wounds.  the digressions have actually been the best.  From
their talking about how they can co-operate to their how to improve their
working conditions.  Today they are getting paid for their wages from
March.  They are so poor!  They have to do so much with so little, deal
with so much pain.

When I return home in the evening, there is another group of people waiting
to say hello.  Finally dark comes and it is my time – I can take a shower
and get ready for the next day.  We are fortunate to have electricity here
so I can read till I fall asleep.  I don’t know that I could keep up this
pace but so far I am very glad I came.

(Posted for Linea, by Randall)

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