Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Monkey B comes for a visit

Yesterday I went to visit Monkey Business and informed the store keeper that I'd like to take him home on Saturday since it's my birthday. As I was playing with him, the guy was like "Why don't you just take him now?" Sucker for cute animals that I am, I did take him home with me, but only for an hourlong visit during which he got stuck behind the oven, got acquainted with the dog, and fell asleep on my lap.

Yes, I know I have the most ridiculously cute kitten ever. I was surprised and happy that, scared though he was, he drank some milk out of a saucer. Classic.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First Concert with Karisma

Hey! My roomie and I sang in our first Karisma Gospel choir concert--2 concerts in fact! On Sunday we sang at an outdoor venue, dressed like beautiful Congolese women. Then tonight we sang at the French Cultural Center. We placed second in the gospel section of a jazz competition. I'll see about posting video sometime, although I doubt our connection will allow me to upload such a thing. We'll see. Anywho, it was tons of fun. We love getting to be friends with the other singers and performing with such a popular group is a thrill.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Meet my friends

Having Congolese friends has been one of my biggest goals, but it's also one of my biggest challenges. First it's hard to find the ones with whom you have a lot in common. Then you have to find ways of building up the relationship and you have to learn to communicate in their language and in each other's ways of expressing friendship. Some things are universal, but other things are not, or are at least expressed differently.

I have to choose to not be offended when people ask me for things or when they show up late, because I know that they are not being rude, they're just acting in ways that are normal for them. Sometimes I wonder how many ways I'm seeming rude to them too and don't realize it because I'm just doing what's normal for me as an American. For example, I don't often think to ask about their families or about their health, which are basic ways of being polite and expressing friendship here. When I think of how much grace and patience it takes for us to navigate a cross-cultural relationship, I'm amazed that I have so many friends here! Thanks God! Please help us!

This is Geritte and Esperance. They are 2 of my favorite friends. We laugh a lot together and have good discussions about God and our spiritual lives. We all enjoy music and singing and learning new languages.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Meet the new love of my life

I'm back in Congo but sadly I don't have a cat anymore. My cat from last year, Frecky, was only on loan and her family is back in the country to take care of her now.

Yesterday I went to the Mauritanian mini mart across the street and saw that they had a pretty decent looking orange cat. Cats around here tend to look pretty mangy, so when you see a nice one it's of note. I told the young clerk that he should tell me if ever his cat has kittens. "She has kittens!" he exclaimed. "Where? At home?" "No, here." "Really?! Where?!" "Behind the notebooks." Sure enough, on a shelf behind the notebooks the kittens were snuggled away.

I went to see them again today and informed the clerk that when they are 6 weeks old I will take a boy cat. I think they're about one week at this point. I'll be lucky if they hold on to them until 6 weeks; I'm sure by 4 they'll be wanting to get rid of them, but that's not really old enough in my opinion.

Anyways, this is Monkey Business, hopefully my future cat. Depends on if he's really a boy or if he turns out to be a girl--kinda hard to tell when they're so small and furry :o) We hope he will be friendly and affectionate. He's already got the cute factor going for him.
This is my new roommate Theresa from Germany with our cat, Monkey Business.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Internet is not my friend

I take back anything good I ever said about our connection here. I've been trying to send my newsletter all week and it won't leave my outbox! I'll load a webpage and by the time I click on something else I've already lost the connection. OK, just venting and letting ya'll know why you never hear from me. Well, that's partly why...the other part is I haven't figured out where emailing fits into my schedule yet. Sorry! I'll talk to you someday...