The situation in Congo keeps rolling around in my mind. As I have chatted with a few people about it in the west, I realize that little is being reported on it.
In the last weeks, over 9000 refugees have come into Rwanda from Eastern Congo. More are coming each day into a transitional refugee camp. Even more have taken refuge in Uganda.
There are 4 Congolese camps in Rwanda. Two of them are full. We wait to see if the camp we work in will gain more refugees.
Why more refugees from Eastern Congo?
Well... the situation in Eastern Congo has not been stable for years ... or let's try since colonization when people in Europe took a map and redrew the borders around resources rather than taking into consideration the people that actually lived on the land. Classic.
Since the end of the genocide in Rwanda, the flee of genociders into Eastern Congo and them finding more people with Rwandan history to kill ( land in Congo, twice the size for Rwanda today, used to be Rwanda, hence people with Rwandan history!) and the UN being peacekeeping mission, not a peace making mission... well, some years have been better than others. Not to mention how complicated the situation is. Over 3.5 million people have been killed in Eastern Congo since the genocide in Rwanda - same conflict but who's talking about it? Not many ...
Right now ... life is not good.
On Sunday we were at a family dowry giving. Serge and I caught up with an uncle who lives and has a small NGO in Eastern Congo. They are doing their best to look after 250 of the refugees. 15 of the women have been been raped. There are reports of hundreds of rapes ...
Serge said to me this morning... my people have no home.
In front of our house is a mud hole. A BIG mud hole in the road. It was created when someone thought it would be a grand idea to dump a bunch of dirt - read truckloads of dirt - on the other side of the road. During the rainy season, the water has nowhere to go. It just sits. Not to mention the mosquitoes that come too.
Countless cars have gotten stuck in the mud in the last two years at all hours of the night. It's been nothing to be laying in bed and listening to a vehicle spinning out in the mud. But until today we have always been able to get in and out of our driveway with little difficulty.
Well yesterday, someone in their 'I have no idea what they were thinking mind' dumped FOUR DUMP TRUCKS of dirt ON the road!!! No packing it down, no nothing! AND completely covered the end of our driveway.
For the first time in our lives, Serge and I learned to use the four wheel drive on our vehicle. Even had to get out the owner's manual... ha! Thankgoodness we have a Prado and not a LandCruiser.
Tonight when we came home, a local neighbour stopped us before we got to our house and warned us that we might not get into our house as more dirt had been dumped and the packer they had wanted to come, didn't come.
And did I mention it's been raining off and on for the last month!
Well... we stopped, analyzed the mound, decided that leaving the car outside the gate was a greater chance than getting stuck and took our chances with the four wheel drive.
Four wheel drive prevailed!
What I know... Serge is taking the kids to school tomorrow.
I also know that Serge is currently outside our gate trying to help someone who is stuck.
Isabella just said, 'Daddy's outside correcting the guy!'
I wonder how many more guys he'll correct tonight?
Good byes are never fun and I've said more than my fair share in my lifetime it seems.
Most of them are moments in my life that I dont' want to relive.
My dear friend Chrissie and I have this little pact.
'We are not allowed to leave each other.'
We are both married to Rwandese, our children are great friends, we love hanging out and we 'get each other'.
A couple times a year we have this conversation.
'Is is really worth the energy to get to know other women when they're only here for 1-3 years and then they leave?'
We always seem to end our conversation with a sigh and agree that yes we must make effort to be in the lives of people who cross our paths in life and we vow to continue to put ourselves out there for that purpose. Who knows what we will gain or how God will use us in other peoples lives?
Yesterday, we said goodbye to some dear friends/family.
Toto is a dear cousin (actually an uncle) of Serge's - the kind where they walk each other to the corner and then stand an talk for another 2 hours!
Toto's wife Solange is one of my dear friends here. We first met at church, then she married Toto and the rest we say is history.
They're moving to the USA .... who knows when we will see each other again.
Solange and I embraced and the sobs erupted from both of us.
I will miss her dearly ...
I don't like goodbyes... sigh...
Sad thing for me, I know I'll say goodby to another dear friend in June ... sigh...