Monday, December 20, 2010

Going Back , , , feels like home!

Looks the same from the air-
Same loaded taxis with people riding, hanging on the back-
Same beautiful sunset
Same Mimi and Wivine trying to get me to buy over ripe bananas and pineapple at the end of the day
Have you figured it out yet?  Yes, we went back to the DR Congo.  We can't believe we got an opportunity to return to the Congo, but a couple of months ago we got an invitation to return to Luputa for the turn over of the biggest water project the church has ever undertaken.  Three humanitarian couples worked on this project and we were all going to be there for the turnover.  So, on Nov. 9th we flew to Kinshasa and an opportunity to see a lot of old friends.

We had a day lay over in Kinshasa which gave us a chance to see a few things and some people we have really missed.  Many things looked the same.  Our old dependable Izuzu was still around although it had been sold to a member.  It felt like we ought to be able to climb right back in it and head out to Malueka..   
There was a new CES building next to the Kinshasa Stake Center.  What a great addition now if only there could be a temple right next door, what a blessing that would be.

Bishop Hoboko showed up in his casuals to say hi.  What a great man.  Actually he is like one of our sons and often calls me mummy. 
 He is the new CES coordinator.  Not  sure what his title is but he looks good behind his new desk in his new office in the new CES building.
 Patience, his daughter is two and beautiful.  We took her home from the hospital when she was born. 
We also ran into Pres. Eustache Ilunga.  He use to be just Eustache to us when we were there on our mission, the guy that mentored us, tutored Farrell in French, and who always kept us going in the right direction.  Farrell was even asked to assist in blessing Patience when she was born.  But today he is Pres. Ilunga, stake President of the Kinshasa Stake and the new Director of Employment for the northern area.

We took a ride over to St. Joseph's Hospital to see Dr. Ngoy.  Dr. Ngoy is the leader of NRT (Neonatal Resuscitation) in the DRC.  He first attended an NRT session in 2007 and with in a few months it became obvious he was our champion trainer. 

He is another one of those people we miss greatly since leaving the Congo.   He has been in the church news, Liahoha and  the publication of the American Pediatrics Association where he has been extolled for his efforts in training so many people in the DRC in Neonatal resuscitation.
We brought his wife, Dr. Florence a few gifts from Uganda
Dr.Ngoy has trained over 1500 people in the NRT program and says that not a day goes by that he doesn't get a call from someone he has taught telling him they have saved a baby.  He estimates that 20,000 babies have been saved with the program.  He has also trained 3 teams of doctors as master trainers who are building their own programs throughout the DRC.  He had a goal to take the training across the nation and he is succeeding.  He is presently training some government people at their request as he is now seen as the expert in NRT for the Congo.
Hadn't been in the Congo long when we heard from Bishop Nguwe.  He, his wife Isabelle and their youngest son Kevin spent 5 weeks with us in the USA before we came to Uganda.  He was anxious for us to come to dinner and meet all his family. They live in Kinshasa and are in the process of remodeling their home there.
 It was a great reunion.
Isabelle was even happy to see Elder Barlow greeting him with a flourish of French and a warm hug.

We brought her a little of Uganda also. Not really her look as she is in to Glitz.
Isabelle and her sisters had been cooking all day.  No stove yet in her remodeling but everything was cooked on a charcoal stove out side.  Isabelles sister in blue is a doctor of Family Medicine.  Both women were delightful and they spoke a little English.
 /There was enough food to feed the whole neighborhood.
 Fried chicken, beef steak, pork chops, sausage, corn, green salad, macaroni salad, mixed vegetables, potatoes, rice, fried plantains, and a beautiful tomatoes hallowed out and a boiled egg inserted, topped with a purple onion, Vienna sausage stick, and a sprig of parsley stuck in the top. 
So much food we didn't know where to start. 
 It was impossible to try everything so we had to pick and choose.
 After dinner I was taken to the bedroom and dressed in a Congolese outfit.  I know, I know, I look a little strange in the head gear but I wasn't doing the dressing.  I just smiled and said thank you.  It was a beautiful outfit and it is green - what can I say.  John Pierre's mother felt we needed a picture with all the Congolese attired women.
Every time we turned around John Pierre was on his cell phone,   Well, he is a "man about town".  What can we say.  He is busy as he owns a trucking firm and he is also a customs agent and there are also other deals to be madeHe is quite a successful business man for the Congo.
 There is certainly a love between these two brothers. 
 Kevin was about 10 months old when they visited us in the USA.  He has grown so much but as soon as we started singing the songs we sang to him in the US he warmed right up.
 The Nguwas have a very eclectic family.  They have 8 children two of which are in Utah going to school at UVU in Provo.  The rest are living at home along with John Pierre's mother, Isabelles father, John Pierres, sister and her baby (there while she is getting treatment for an illness), an assortment of nephews and I even think we could have found a bed there if we needed it.  Actually it is a very traditional African family.
What a great night we had with the Nguwas.  It was a treat to greet them in their home and to get to meet the whole family.

It was a whirlwind day but such a renewal of memories for us.  We even stayed in our old apartment (the Moody's abode) and hosted the Ericksons from South Africa who are Public Relations for the So. East African Area.  That brought back a few memories.  When

When I was fixing us all breakfast I found in the cupboard a ziplock bag of Grape Kool-aid that ore daughter, Christie had sent to her dad when we were in the Congo.  Farrell reclaimed the Kool-aid and the Moodys said it would be tough to give up grape kool-aid but they would survive the loss.  I don't think they had a thing for grape kool-aid like some, other people we know.

Kinshasa time had passed and the next day we would be off to Luputa and the celebration.


Tiffany said...

Jean-Pierre and friends! How good to see that you are doing well. Little Kevin is not so little anymore. He and Mari would have fun playing together. I hope we get to see you again. You are both such wonderful people and special friends of ours!

Mom and's good to see you smiling so are loved by so many all over the world.

LBJ said...

What a dream come true to go back and see the people you had loved in the Congo and to see the water project finished. It's an amazing project and you must feel so much joy and satisfaction in being a part of it and seeing it completed. You've been part of so many things that will change lives for generations. Thanks for sharing this great weekend.

Angela said...

The dress is great but I don't know if you should wear the hat back in the states. But then again, you could be a new trend setter.

mary kenney webb said...

Happy new year!! Thanks for including me in your blog. I love reading about your mission. It's so inspiring. So good to see the pics of Sister Barlow....89 and still going strong!!
She is so amazing and will always have a special place in my heart.
God bless you!!