The weekends are the longest part of being in the Congo. NOTHING happens on the weekend, so it is usually very long. There was still a couple of things I needed to do for the DNA test on Monday, so three of us rented a car. I took Imani to get passport photos taken. She needs 1 for the DNA test on Monday, 3 for the Embassy and 1 for the exit letter process. We went to the larger, more American, City Market. $62 dollars for a pack of Pampers. SERIOUSLY!!!!! I am still struggling to understand how this country almost always in the top 5 of poorest places to live is so expensive to live in. I don't get it.
Since this is my third trip to Congo, I have seen a lot of things, but there was something that broke my heart yesterday. As we left City Market and got ...into the car, I handed the police officer 800 francs (80 cent) for helping my get into the car. (This is just the way it is folks. No one does anything without getting paid. They hold a door for you, you pay them too.) On the other side of the car, there was a street women begging for money. Se was carrying a sleeping child - he did not appear to be two yet but was older than 1. The police were trying to get her to leave us alone so there was a lot of talking. Once we were pulling away we asked our translator what was said. He said, "The police were telling her to go away. That you are only helping children - not women like her. But, if you want, they can take your baby." That was so sad - yet, a daily thing here in Kinshasa. I was just so impacted by that. I can't believe they said "Women like you". I wanted to stand up for her and say, "AT LEAST SHE IS TRYING". Different things impact different people and I am still teary over it. It is like no big deal here. There has to be something we can do. I'm glad we drove away because I seriously might have given her all of my money.
On a lighter note, Imani is doing GREAT! We had a little break through yesterday. While I was at City Market, I put some coke zero in the cart. She looked at me and said, "Mommy Fanta?" I looked at her and I just could not say no. So, I said "One. One Fanta." She was SO HAPPY! I had the translator tell her she could have half today and half tomorrow if there was no crying. She said "OK". Can you BELIEVE she drank half and we put the rest in the refrigerator?????? NO CRYING!!!! Happy the whole time! I'm thinking I will have to stop drinking soda if I expect her to stop.
There is a couple here who have been waiting almost 2 weeks for their exit letter. My heart is breaking for them. They are missionaries and their 2 biological kids are at home with parents and they are not doing well. They are desperate to get home to them. Will you please say a prayer for them? God can move this letter along, so please pray they receive it on Monday!