The Sixth Year

September 1st rolled around an entire month ago, and I failed to point out its significance. It was the sixth anniversary of the day we moved to Congo. I was wondering, does it still count when we’re not actually in Congo? Instead, that day we were meeting up at the airport in Québec City after several weeks apart. Almost as cool!

I had come to the U.S. in mid-August for a month or so of annual checkups, visits with friends and old pets, and luggage-warping shopping with a longer-than-average wish list thanks to our recent move into a different house. Seb was supposed to meet me in Arizona for business meetings, but those fell through, as they often do. We were able to meet in Québec for his 25th high school reunion and spend a week with his family, but then he returned to Africa as quickly as he arrived, and I to the Southwest to finish up the projects I had started.

A couple of days before my planned return, news came that Kinshasa was on fire. Election news — or lack of it — had caused a brief but intense round of protests. Even though our place is a thousand miles away as the crow flies, so far away in fact that we don’t even fly through Kinshasa, AND there aren’t any protests happening in our neck of the woods… here in the U.S. I remain, waiting for the green light to return.

Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of Bloomberg or a friend of my husband’s on Facebook, you’ll know that our company went up for sale earlier this year, and there’s some interesting do-si-do steps still happening there. Will we become a Chinese company? Canadian? Congolese? Will we stay or will we go? We don’t know. Basically, everything is up in the air right now.

Except for me. I’m not up in the air. No, I’m grounded for the moment, about as sea level as you can get. I happen to be in central Florida with Mom & Rudy, exactly where I was one year ago, not realizing I’d be back so soon. It’s fun of course to spend time with them here, but still, my heart is at home.

The highlight by far this past year was our trip in February to Kinshasa, the first and so far only time we’ve ever stepped foot in that city, followed by nine days of boating and camping along the Congo River. If our sixth year turns out to be our last in Congo, this was one helluva sendoff. But I’m still holding out hope for a seventh!

In keeping with tradition, here are a few snapshots of our more miscellaneous moments in DRC during the past twelve months. A sundry of stuff I haven’t blogged about separately, or at least not much. And a few more than usual, thanks to fast limitless internet and a touch of homesickness. Click any photo to get started, and ideally while enjoying the music, Saïsaï by Papa Wemba.

 

 

 


 

10 comments

  1. Very cool! Love the photos! Do you think they’ll be an opportunity for you to come back to Arizona? We loved having you here!

    -Stacie

    Stacie Harrison (Always in touch, thanks to the iPhone.)

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    1. Thanks Stacie, and I hope you saw your name on my last photo! Yes to Arizona, although the answer was different back on Oct 4 when you asked initially 😉

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    1. What, not the empty stage at your wedding?? Thanks Carl, funny when I took that photo I was ashamed to post it, with the sun in my eyes and everything. A year later with a super short haircut I look back and think, aww…

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  2. Wow, 6 years is a long time. Good luck in the transition. Did Papa Nzita retire? Hope you and Seb are doing well. I switched jobs to Barrick and we are moving to Australia. I’ll be Flying in and out of PNG at one of their gold mines there.

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    1. Super exciting news Rich, I hope the job is treating you well! Is Nancy already in Australia? Yes, Papa Nzita retired early this year, if you click on the photo you can see the caption. I hope you’re able to play the music too, I love Congolese music…

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