We have found that people in Kinshasa are incredibly hospitable! We really enjoyed some significant visits over the weekend, and ate far too much food!
On Friday evening, we were able to visit the family of Leonard Kiswangi, a colleage of Bob’s from AE (African Enterprise). Bob and Leonard met at a celebration in 2002 in South Africa, and had kept in touch but not seen each other since then! We were very excited to be able to meet his family and spend an evening with them. Since Leonard and Bob both are involved in evangelism, they enjoyed conversing about the church here and Leonard and his wife’s service as chaplains of a nearby university.
It was quite a journey to get there, because unfortunately Leonard’s car broke down on the way to his house. Leonard, Bob, and some helpful policemen pushed the car to the side of the road, then Leonard called his mechanic to come get it started. I wish I could have taken a picture of his mechanic, squatting on the engine in his flip-flops, using his cell-phone for a flashlight in the dark, revving in the engine to determine the problem. He got the car working, and then stayed with the car at Leonard’s house while we visited. What service! Below is a photo of Leonard’s family, including his wife, 2 daughters, his sister, and the son of a friend who lives with them.
Saturday evening, we were invited to dinner with the Ntumba family. Bob had met Jana last year when he was in Rwanda, and we reconnected with her last week at church in Kinshasa. Her husband, Georges, is from the Kananga area, and they were having dinner with some of his relatives. They had prepared a feast of classic Congolese food, including some specialties from the Kasai area. It was our first time to try eel. The eels were small, and Bob said that the taste resembled beef jerky! :) We learned a few new Tshiluba words and heard their perspective about cultural differences between Kananga and America. We are very excited to see Kananga in person. We just got plane tickets today—we will fly on Thursday to our new home!
Congolese cuisine featured above (front center, clockwise): rice, chicken, yam, biddia (manioc and corn flour mixed with water), matanda (uses leaves from manioc tree), sautéed fish and vegetables, small eel