Yesterday we celebrated our 2-year anniversary here in DRC. How time flies! This year has been full of adventures — well, after spending the first 3 months of the year in medical quarantine in Florida. (Which was fun in its own way, spending time with Mom & Rudy, then seeing lots of friends & family on a grand U.S. tour.) Seb and I celebrated his birthday in April on the island paradise of Seychelles, followed by a stop in Ethiopia to visit a friend of mine from grad school. Then in June, we brought Seb’s folks from Québec and mine from Kansas to join us for a camping safari in Botswana. Fantastic! There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars hearing lions roar in the distance, while hoping the elephants knocking down trees all night long don’t accidentally step on your tent.
In early July we returned home to meet the newest addition to our family, my maid’s son Olivier. I’ve invited her to bring him to work with her, which she gladly accepted; it’s much easier on everyone if she can feed him on demand. So I spend my mornings playing auntie, looking forward to when he wakes up and cries for a little attention. He’s a happy and healthy baby, whose hobby is having me lift him into the air over and over again saying “Whee!” which sounds exactly like “Oui!” which means “yes” in French which must be a little confusing for him. 😉
After coming home from Botswana we found ourselves on another safari without leaving our living room. Nothing like the Big Five, mind you (unfortunately Congo’s wildlife was wiped out a few decades ago, though it is starting to improve in some regions)… but a wild turkey provided a little entertainment for awhile! Such a nice gesture to leave a little “caca,” as my gardener called it, on the patio table.
Soon afterwards the monkey appeared, but not in her usual place along the fence. This time she wanted to get close enough to send the message that she didn’t appreciate the competition.
And competition she has! A wild yet tame & friendly cat has adopted us… or rather anyone who will leave some food outside for her from time to time.
And she sometimes brings around her four kittens! They look calm here on our lounge chair, but as soon as we open the patio door they race for the bushes.
Other diversions this year include attending two weddings in Lubumbashi… spending a few days in Cape Town… a celebrity sighting of Reza, the self-proclaimed Spice Prince of India, whose cookbook now has a permanent place in my kitchen. The only disappointment this year has been THE LACK OF INTERNET. We have considered installing a third-party system (surprised that such a choice is available) since our first party has been less than reliable, but we haven’t yet as it’s quite expensive. We now sit at a neighbor’s house who has dished out the money, pilfering his bandwidth and appeasing him with a bottle of wine. And the wine has run out so it must be time to wrap this up!
We look forward to another return to the States this fall (for company meetings and doctor appointments… ugh…) and a chance to catch up with family & friends. Maybe this week we’ll get lucky enough to actually finalize our dates and reservations online. Or maybe a pig will fly across our patio next. Keep an eye out for the photos!