Sunday, June 04, 2006

Michael has made it to the Southern Hemesphere

First of all - as you can see I am trying a different font and color. I must be feeling creative today.
The picture is one of my favorites- My three "men" taken Christmas 2004. I use it on my monitor as wallpaper and I never get tired of seeing it.
On Thusday, the first, Michael and his boxes and bags were picked up by car and driven to Brussels. The next morning he flew from Brussels to Kinshasa, which is the capitol of the Congo- the bigger of the two that is on the right when you look at the map. He will be there for three months ,helping the Congalese goverment organise and set up an IT system. I have talked to him twice and he seems quite stunned by the whole thing.
We are medium well traveled people ,but he says it is like nothing he has ever seen or experienced before. The first thing he said was : It is hot and dark. The heat was expected but the fact that he is right below the equator and the time of year, mean that it is pitch dark by 6:30 pm . The other thing is that he (we) have never experienced people that poor before, and the amazing contrast of people who either have nothing or live in mini palaces and drive Rolls Royces. The other thing that he noticed right away is that everyone seemed happy and friendly. A lesson for us in that it is proof that wealth and happyness are not the same.
My four day weekend is not going quite as I planned as I have ended up driving the boys to the movies, going bowling with them and promising Alexander a movie tomorrow. I have also done tons of laundry-it feels kind of wierd to be washing Michael,s clothes, ironing his shirts etc.. and knowing he won't need them for three months- and also that I won't have any laundry from him in that time.
It makes the three months seem very real.
I did manage to walk both yesterday and today and to get some things on my "finish" list finished or at least worked on. I will save all of that for tomorrow or maybe I will wait untill Wednesday and give a report about all that I have finished in the last week. I would like to be able to repot then that all seven things on my list are finished and things in the mail etc... but I would be content if half were finished. LOL
I just remembered I wanted to say something more about the peacock. Yes, he is very loud- but I actually like it. I am not a peson who sleeps well and I enjoy the screaming peacock day and night- makes me feel I am not alone. Also- I said "our" peacock but he doesn't belong to us , but is part of the farm we live on. Right now we just have one peacock and one peahen but have at different times had up to five.


Ashleigh said...

Rachael, nightfall coming so suddenly in the tropics can be a big surprise! I remember it well, and the nightbirds that start singing as soon as darkness falls. Its also so dark because there's no light pollution. I used to love just standing out in the dark and listening to the night sounds.

I hope Michael enjoys his visit to Kinshasa. My dad was stationed in the Congo for some time when he was a young man and he always had a lot to say about it.

The stunning contrast between rich and poor and the apparent lack of misery is always surprising to the westerner there for the first time. It will fade for him though, so he should write down how he feels about it now before it has time to fade away.

Annemarie said...

Glad to hear that Michael made it to the Congo safely. Now comes the quiet period for you...although your boys seem to be keeping you busy!
Thanks for enlightening me on the peacock. I can imagine you feel comforted to know that you're not the only being on the planet that's awake...

Von said...

Ah, yes. . . I understand about the noise being comforting. I keep my radio on all night long - on talk radio. It started when I was pregnant with the twins and had difficulties sleeping. Since then, there's just something about the talking that frazzles the electrical activity in my brain and I fall back asleep. :D

Glad Michael is safely at his destination. Looking forward to hearing more of his adventures in the Congo!

bunnyhead said...

What a nice picture of your family. I hope your time apart flies right by. Your long weekend seems like one of mine... Mommy's don't seem to get a break. lol

Barbara said...

We used to live in an apartment near a "kinderboerderij" (petting zoo?) that had a peacock and I loved his wild cry. Like you, I have problems sleeping and I found his cry to be soothing.

I hope all goes well for Michael in the Congo. It's impossible for me to imagine - I've never been to the tropics, and the poorest country I've been to is Mexico, which was shocking to me. I hope the time will pass quickly and happily for you and your boys.

lena-lou said...

I haven't read your full post as I am a bit pushed for time but your 3 men all look a happy, handsome bunch :-) Lucky you!!