2012 03 Klara à Kinshasa
JET'News n°2 de Klara à Kinshasa en République Démocratique du Congo
I apologise for the delay, it is rare that I get to the internet for a longer time because of the lack of electricity. Especially that when I have time there is never electricity !
Two months has passed since I arrived, which is quite shocking for me since I feel like it has been one week since I have written my last letter. This also means that one third of my trip is over. But there are so many things left to discover and learn.
The Congolese kitchen
The Congolese kitchen for example. My first adventure was the goatslaughter in the back of the garden done by the seminarists. I couldn't watch, so I’ll only show you a photo of the preparations, for those who couldn’t stand the sight.
The next time we were invited to one of the members of teh community, Maman Eyenga. Here everybody is called maman instead of madame. It makes me laugh a lot when children in the centre call me Maman Klara. They often tell me, that with my age I should already have children, and anyway, how is it possible that I have no husband. One of the boys offered to find me a Congolese husband. I’ll have to think about it! So we went to Eyenga’s, who prepared a real treat, sneak. My problem wasn’t even the taste more like the thought of what I was eating. By the way it tasted like salted fish. I had enough of that for a while…In the picture you can see Marthe, who is also a JET. I spend most of my time with her, she has been here for a year and speaks lingala very well.
With educators of the centre
Yesterday we went for a „relax trip” with the educators of the centre. Here I had the chance to taste eel and caterpillars. But don’t worry, in the community we eat rarely like this, it is mostly fish and rice, which I am starting to get used to. Apart from this the traditional kitchen is based on pondu (sauce made of the leaves of the manioc), and the chikwangue, which is a side dish. We eat these without utensils of course.
Finally I am starting to see what I will be doing here, which might be surprising since I have already been here for 2 months, but here things work at a very different rhythm. Never mind, at least I learn a little patience...
A day in Kinshasa
Normally we start the day with the mass at 5:45 (yes, in the morning), after that we have personal prayer time. For those who are at home we have adoration at noon, and then lunch. We usually get home by 3 o’clock from the centre. We have adoration again at 18:30 and hymne at 19:00. After dinner (everybody cooks once a week) we do the dishes together. Until now, Hungarian cuisine is quite popular. So we often eat european meals, I don’t just live off bananas, eventhough sometimes that happens aswell. Every Wednesday we have desert day, which means that we start at 8:00 with the hymn, and we keep the silence and prayer time until the mass and adoration in the afternoon. And I have to say, I very much like this day, because I need it a lot because of the heat and the early mornings.
In the centre Ndako ya Biso
I go to the centre twice a week to be with the boys from the streets. I play with them a lot, we play soccer and checkers. I also repair their clothes. It is funny, whenever they see me, they bring their pants right away without a word. These pants have such huge holes in them that I wouldn’t even call them pants most of the times. I am advancing slowly with lingala but I understand many words, which helps communicating with the children. Anyway they are very happy when you play with them, or even if you just give them a little attention or a smile.
The centre for the girls
The centre fo the girls opens the 8th March. Here they will be able to stay the night aswell, not just during the day. If all goes well I will be working mostly with them. This is a temporary home for them, until we can reinsert them into their families and make sure they get their education. Last week we went to look for these girls, who live int he streets. I was shocked to learn that the girls we spoke with, all aged 12-16 all live from postitution. They sell themselves for 1000 francs, about 1 dollar. This is enough for one meal. And they are pleased because they live much better than most people. They have something to eat and they can buy clothes for themselves. We are going to work with smaller girls they are in bigger danger. Here if a girl lives in the streets, or has nothing to eat at home it is almost sure that she becomes a prostitute. Thousands of little girls live like this in the streets of Kinshasa, here this is normal. I couldn’t believe it.
The pars of Bonobos and the river Congo
A little happier subject : a couple of weeks ago one of the ordinands’ sister was here so I got to do a little tourism with them.
We visited the parc of the bonobos, where these monkeys live in a rainforest which is wired, until they are able to retourn to their natural inhabitants. They are very friendly, they even throw things at you so you would play with them.
Than we visited a botanic garden and an artificial lake nearby which was very beautiful, followed by a boat trip on the river Congo. This is where we saw the fishermans’ „villages” which stand on the little islands formed on the river. It is shocking to see the wealth and beauty of this country with all the green, plants and rivers and the misery of the people right next to it.
I could tell you a lot more but I’ll keep it for later. One thing is sure. During these two months I have learned more about myself, my limits, about tolerance and being humane and entrusting myself to God than ever before. Of course sometimes it is hard. But I am very greatful for every experience I am having here and i wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I think of you a lot, I hope all is well. Best Wishes,
déposé le 08 mars 2012