I’ve been unusually silent here recently, but I am here and I am well. I was away for a few weeks for both work and rest and during that time there was a minor issue with the website. It tanked and the associated e-mail went with it.
I’ve been in Kisangani for over a year and a half now, but more importantly I’ve been here long enough for my kitten to have her own kittens. Lumi walked up to my desk on Monday and she looked noticeably smaller. I accused her of being some kind of fraud with the whole pregnancy thing until Ruth came to tell me she’d found two tiny squirming kittens in a cardboard box underneath her desk. Lumi has always liked climbing into desk drawers and apparently she tried to get into Ruth’s to have the kittens there. She chewed up a Bible and some of Ruth’s planning charts in her distressed attempt. It’s moments like that when a cat seems incompatible with an office, until I remember that rodents would be chewing things up all the time without her on staff and she only chews when she’s in labor.
A prayer was answered today with the purchase of a second vehicle for our program. This was a significant concern because vehicles are not very easy to come by in Kisangani. And recently with a deadly and highly publicized and politicized cargo plane crash in Kinshasa, the Russian Antonov cargo planes have been grounded making it nearly impossible to get cars in at the moment. I was looking for someone who regularly brings jeeps in so we could buy something used from Dubai, but so far no success. A few people had brought by cars that were too old or had the wheel on the right as most all do here (we drive on the right) and the government has been threatening to make all of those cars illegal. But this morning a brand new small SUV with the wheel on the left was brought by. It was a prize in a promotional lottery for a cell phone provider. It’s far more practical for the guy who won it to take the money and buy a nice house for his family than to drive a new car around, so it turns out to be a win/win. This frees us up to fix the growing problems with the land cruiser and takes care of what could have been a lingering project. This jeep isn’t quite as deluxe as what the diamond dealers roll in - but it will serve us well.
We’re getting ready to hire another ten new staff members in the next month or so to keep up with our growth. If you have any qualified and talented friends in Kisangani, please let them know!