Ken’s Day 2 and 3 in the DRC

In addition to the emails below, Ken sent a couple photos, but as I mentioned before I’ll wait to post them here on the blog until she’s in the skies on her way home.  I can see the adjustment stages in the pictures. In the first photo Ken sent (taken in the car with Kiffanie on the way back from the airport), she’s smiling a shy smile, and looks nervously excited.  In the two sent today, it looks like she’s trying to be stubborn and fighting against conflicting emotions–wanting to trust and accept, but fearful of letting down her walls, and she looks more guarded.  (Which is perfectly normal and natural, and I think quite good, for this stage of things.)  We are praying that God will ease the transition for her, and help her know that she’s safe, loved and secure.  It is natural that it will take time though.  She’s a brave little girl with quite an adventure ahead!

Day 2

Kiffanie is still being very shy. We were eating breakfast and she hardly ate and would not talk to me. I tried some to communicate with her, in French and English and sign, but to no avail. I did get her to pick out the dress she wanted to wear today, but then could not get her to put it on. She finally went to her normal room to get help.

My morning started out with breakfast, the cliff bars, and then a mostly cold pouring of water over my head. I will try to warm up some water tonight for a shower. Funny no warm water on demand here. The toilet is rather amusing. It looks like a regular toilet, but has no toilet seat or bowl. Very difficult to use as sitting down is a challenge.

The road to the orphanage is not paved, and is very rutted. We started to head to town, when someone from )London wanted to see the orphanage. So we had almost made it to the main road, when we turned around and came back. I am surprised the van can hold up. Driving here is to the least interesting,and to say the most, down right scary. They just go. On a two lane road, the drivers might pass, even though there is no room to complete the pass. Drivers coming the other direction just move over for them. They also park just about everywhere. Sometimes in the middle of the road. All in all I am glad that I am not driving. I won’t bore you with all the details, but it is amazing that I have not seen a hundred accidents. By the way pedestrians walk right next to the road, which with the total disregard for them by drivers, i am surprised more of them aren’t dead also. Bicycles also ride in the middle of the street, and are just one more target for cars to aim for.

More about Kiffanie. She will fit into the family, she likes chocolate. 😉   She is going to be a handful though. She does not like to have her things messed with, and has a loud piercing scream when she does not get her way. I got out the balloons and if anybody touched her balloons there was trouble, but she could mess with other children’s balloons.  As I mentioned she has a very loud and high piercing screech of a scream. Not unlike a Kieran scream of about a year ago. A lot of training opportunities on that one.  I hope you got a couple of the pictures I sent yesterday. I have not figured out how to get them off the camera yet, so I know they are poor quality I-pad ones, but that may be all you get until I get home. Kiffanie is also a delight. On the ride into town she sat on my lap much of the way. I think she is influenced by A**** (another little girl). She is such a delight, except for a bed time.  A****  came to spend the night with Kiffanie and spent the first hour screaming or getting out of bed. After A**** fell asleep, Kiffanie was good and quieted right down, even though she was not asleep yet. I went into the room to check if the I-pad was done charging and she watched me without saying a word or trying to get up.

This evening for dinner pastor Didier took me to a Chinese restaurant. It was quite good. We shared an entree that was half lamb and half beef. The restaurant had red carpet and table cloths. You walk into a room open to the outside with four tables in it. The next room in was a sunken bar in one corner with tables in the other three corners. You then go up four stair to a hallway width floor with wall on one side and railing on the other. That surrounded three sides of the room, there were doors off the walled side to other rooms. It was in one of the other rooms that we sat and enjoyed our meal.

Tonight, I was able to squeeze in a quick shower amidst the girls getting up. It was warm, but more of throwing handfuls of water on me to get wet and then lathering and throwing handfuls of water to get rinsed. I will wash my hair again in the morning.

I have a couple shots of Kiffanie with balloons, but without getting the camera shots downloaded, this is all you get for now. Iam still working on getting photos of C*****, A*****, and J****** . (Other children with parents waiting eagerly here in the US) I also am trying to gather information on them now. I will try to get pictures of them tomorrow with the I-pad, so at least the prospective parent have some pictures. I will take a lot of pictures that you can send later.

I love you all muchly,

Ken

Sent from my iPad

Day 3

Today started out much the same as yesterday, only two happy girls whispering. To be fair, it was time to get up. The girls went to there normal rooms to get dressed and breakfasted. I had another breakfast of Clif bars and water. Also, a quick shampooing of the hair, and it’s off to town with Didier and Kiffanie.

Went to Internet cafe that we were at yesterday and the power was out, could not get on there network. Apparently different parts of the city get power on different days. I am hoping tomorrow to catch you up on two days of events.

Didier has ten different things going on at once. We went into town to go to the market, supermarket, and Internet cafe. Along the way, I met two of the pastors of Didier’s church’s, a man who got medicine from the US, and other things (mostly about 10 phone calls).

Kiffanie came to join me a little bit ago. She has not been much of snuggle bug for me. However, she loves to play with iPad, so she had to sit on my lap and let me snuggle her even if she does not want to snuggle me yet. She then started to fall a sleep in my lap, so I carried her in and set her down, but she was up again in five minutes and went away. Rejected again by a cute girl. 😉  She returned about 15 minutes later and seemed in a much better mood. She took me for a walk, and we ran into C****, (a little boy there, I think?) and then Kiffanie really opened up. I even got my first hug from her that was not initiated by me. She was very playful with both C**** and myself. We played inside and then out, she and C**** ate some of my apples. We had a good time. Then the two of them drug me off to the Wednesday worship service. I will describe that in a moment. I had to leave before it was over to meet Didier for dinner. He did not go, I think he is fighting malaria, so he was resting. Kiffanie did not come with me right away, I think she wanted to stay and torture C**** some more. She is going to be a handful in church.

On to the worship, the kids would have been amazed at the service. There is no hymnal of course, so the pastor would sing a refrain and the congregation would answer. There probably 25 people and maybe 10 who were singing (the others were children and me), they sang louder than all our church congregation. There were no instruments except the pastor did on occasion bang on a piece of metal with a short metal stick to keep the beat. It was surprisingly beautiful, since some that answered the pastor were singing harmony. Then they would go into a prayer time. Since I don’t speak the language, one of the African languages (Swahili), I could only understand Yaweh and Jesu. Anyway the preacher would pray loudly, meanwhile some in the congregation would be praying just as loudly as the pastor, or agreeing loudly with the pastor. I wonder what our pastor would do if we started praying like that, or for that matter singing. He did read some scripture and preach a sermon, I wasn’t getting a lot out of it, but it was a neat experience.

Dinner tonight was just the three of us, Kiffanie, Didier, and myself. We had goat meat for dinner. It was tough and very stringy, but once you got it off the bone, it wasn’t bad. Not going to be a favorite of mine. Also, plain potatoes, beans, orca and chicken heads and feet. I did not try the last one as it was a favorite of Didier. I confess I did not mind missing that one. You’d all be proud of me though, I have tried and eaten everything except the chicken heads and feet.

Kiffanie got ready, bathed and such at the other house, but came back by herself to spend the night and she came straight to bed. We prayed even though she did not understand it. I kissed and hugged her, too much to expect that in return yet, but hopefully soon. Didier is coming back soon to turn off the generator and that usually signals bed time. I often spend an hour or so typing to you in bed since I have the iPad.

We should have everything we need to leave the country on Saturday. Hold on tight we will be there before you know it.

Sent from my iPad

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