2012 05 Klara à Kinshasa
JET'News n°4 de Klara à Kinshasa en République Démocratique du Congo
Here is my fourth letter, in which I’ll tell you about how life is with the community, and the youth mission. It is hard to talk about what I am living here, so I’ll rather show it to you with some pics.
Life in the house
I’ve just finished washing my clothes; I do it every week by hand of course.
We also have a weekly service, for me it is mostly cleaning, and cooking of course. I prefer the inside kitchen but since often there is no electricity, I am forced to cook on fire. In the picture you can see frère Serge, who is making dinner.
Even though I am living in a religious community the atmosphere is not what you would imagine while thinking of a convent. We always have a good time, it is great to work with them. Despite the differences, or mostly because fo them, we have great laughs. We do the dishes together after every meal, and do community work every 2-3 weeks. One thing is sure: the community is very well organised.
We are 14 in the house. Two Mauritian sisters, one Ivorian, one Guinean, one Brazzaville-ian(I have no idea how to say that correctly!), one Burkinian(nor that), one Brazilian and one Congolese seminarist. A French priest and an ordinand, and four young people from Kinshasa.
In the picture you can see my room (second from the left) and the water tank which we use when there is no running water (often).
Here you can see the new terrace, which will be finished in a couple of days. Bellow are the rooms of the seminarists.
Life with God
This is the chapel, where all my mornings start, sometimes with mass, sometimes with prayer.
One of the JET-s in her letter wrote that when she entered the church there were two whites in there. Her and Jesus on the cross. I have to say, that here Jesus is black as well. However I don’t even notice it any more. I am more surprised when I see a white person. I enjoy very much this variety in the community. Of course sometimes it creates difficulties as well, but I learn a lot from the relations with the others. And it is great to try the Ivorian and Mauritian kitchen from time to time.
On Sundays we go to the parish of the community for mass. For every mass there is a different choir with at least 20 members. Everybody dances and sings. What I like the most is that during the offering the priest and the altar-boys dance around the altar. But I think this wouldn’t be a very popular idea in Hungary. :D
In the mission with the young people, I am with the teenagers (14-18). We meet once a month with about 50 kids. There is a teaching, prayer, mass and we play as well. Most of them come from the school of the community, so I meet with those as well to whom I teach English. Teenagers are the same here as anywhere. They are interested in the same things, and they are just as hard to get to do the dishes. What I envy though, is that God is part of their everyday life from a very young age. He is everywhere, at the source of everything and they search to have a relationship with. Here this is natural. Some times kids of the age of 14 say things I haven’t even thought about even when I was 18.
The center for the girls
At the center life is still amazing. Now I am doing the alphabetization for the girls, which is quite a challenge in French, even more in Lingala. But we have great laughs with the kids anyway.
I have two months left and it is now that I really feel that I have learned to accept that things don’t go as I’ve imagined them and to accept what comes, maybe even better than what I’ve planned. I am experiencing things that make me a more open and complete person. I am learning and I see the miracles of God every day. I am capable to see through the misery, under education and sufferings. Instead I see the mother of 5 children (one adopted from the streets), bringing them up all alone, who works at the center. She is always, without exception, joyful. She has already helped about 50 children to return to their families, and she never gives up. Or I see the father of 5 children who talks to me about communism in Prague, and has a viewpoint wider than most Europeans. Or the old street kid, who has now three children, and plays with the little girls at the center with such joy. He is friendlier and more respectful than anyone I know. And there is at least 20 people like this who work at the centre. They all are incredible.
Thank you all for your responses, I am very happy to read your news, so don’t hesitate to write.
Excuse my English I have been speaking and even thinking French for 4 months, so sometimes it is difficult to find the expressions in English!
déposé le 16 mai 2012