Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yay Kinshasa! Yay Congo!

A lovely illegal airport photo, taken on the tarmac

Okay, so now we're in a new timezone, a new country, a new city, and a new feeling of clllleaaan.

Our ride is coming for us in only 25 minutes and I still want to brush my teeth so I'll make it quick:

We're in Kinshasa. We made it here okay, despite our night in Addis Ababa and our flight from Addis to Kinshasa -- which was turbulent, but mostly alarming because no one knew that red meant "Toilet Occupied" or the "Stay seated during takeoff and landing" wasn't optional.

Plus, everyone had TONS of bags, so everytime things got a little rough, the overhead compartments would come open, fun!

We also didn't find our ride at the airport, but it wasn't for lack of trying! This guy came up to us twice, holding a sign for Madamoiselle Roland, and I was sure he was looking for someone who wasn't me!

Silly -- I should have asked who sent him but was too tired. We still got helped by an immigration officer, 2 other people, AND a cab driver and managed to make our way to the office from our invitation letter. And it only cost us $170! Sheesh.

Our hotel is really nice -- they actually have AIR CONDITIONING and HOT WATER (woa) but absolutely NO mosquito nets. And many mosquitos. Too bad we were too tired to do anything but eat dinner and sleep.

Too tired to begin the training!

I did try to take a bath, but the water was pretty brown and the tub was teeeennny tiny. I'm still clean though!!

My French is SO MUCH BETTER, compared to the last time I was here! I mean, wow, everyone understands me and I'm able to have fully flushed conversations with people. It's awesome. I'm also learning some funny cultural things:

Tony, the guy at the office who helped us out today advised us not to use the words "J'ai besoin" in Congo (French for I need), because, if you need it, it's gonna COST YOU! Ha! So always use "Je voudrais" ... I want. Funny to know!

Off to Kisangani we go!

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