After our translation committee meeting we were invited to the home of the congregation president/chief who seems to be a man of some financial means by African standards.
We were treated to a typical Congolese meal of rice, bugari (a dough ball made by grinding corn, cob and all, used for scooping the various soups/sauces and dishes) chicken, fish, cole slaw, and even some spaghetti pasta. Our host were very gracious and the fellowship and conversation was a lot of fun. I always enjoy these times of fellowship because they really give you a chance to get to know each other as friends and build that relationship that is such a precious gift from the Lord.
On our way back to town we were taken to local arts and crafts flea market of sorts. The sellers saw the color of our skin and got very excited. I am sure the prices escalated at a higher rate than did their excitement level. I inquired about a small set of wooden salad tongs with handles carved like a giraffe and was told that they were $30. Nathanael asked about a chess set and a price of $200 was given. I ended up buying two bracelets and four necklaces for $7 after much negotiating. The first price I received was $10 for one bracelet.
We have one more meeting in about an hour this evening with a couple of pastors and then it
will be a bit reading and off to bed. Our Ethiopian Airlines flight leaves tomorrow at 1:10 pm. We were told by the airlines, when we confirmed our seats yesterday, that we should be there by 10:00 am. We will say our goodbyes to the pastors, their families, our translators, and Mr. Martin Essien (from Nigeria) tomorrow around 9:30 am.
I was able to talk to (and see) Beth and the kids yesterday via video Skype. It was great to see and hear them. They seem to be doing well. They should be finishing church right about now. Josh heads back to ILC after church. Beth will miss his help around the house and with the little ones. In some ways it doesn't seem like I have been gone for nearly two weeks already, but when I think of my family and the congregation it feels like I have been gone for months.
I forgot about this picture until I looked again tonight. Look carefully and you will see that the boy on the right is wearing a St. Louis Cardinals shirt. I took this with my cell phone at the airport when we were waiting to pick up Mr. Martin Essien from Nigeria. This young lad is one of the many young men running around the airport trying very hard to out maneuver the other boys for the privilege of helping you with luggage, whether you ask for it or not. Sometimes they will just walk next to you with their hand on the suitcase while you carry it or roll it yourself and when you get to the car...they have their hand out waiting to be paid. This young man agreed to let me take his picture and I gave him a 1000 Congolese Francs ($1.13). He ran over to his friends and our translator John (in the picture) told me that the other boys were asking why I took his picture and he told them that I liked his shirt. They told him he should come back and ask for 5,000 francs (about $6). He came over and asked for the 5,000 francs but didn't get any more money. You can't blame the kid for trying. I don't think they get too many Muzungu's (white guys) through the Lubumbashi airport. Gotta love the entrepreneurial spirit!
Be sure to check out Pastor Mayhew's blog at: http://lutheranmissions.org/eastafricavisitation2009/
I'll check back in from Kenya in a couple of days.