Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Housemates

For the majority of our time at Mercy House, we have shared it with many people: David, a professor at KIST (Kigali Institute of Something Technology), Jeff, the interim director of World Vision, and a Sudanese party of three.

David, and his wife who flew home a few weeks ago, are from the U.K. Actually, David was born in Rwanda to missionary parents and lived in Burundi during his childhood, but the accent is perfectly British. Now, semi-retired he works as a mechanical engineer professor and academic consultant at KIST and his wife at the theological seminary in town. David is fun and talkative. Rob and I often share potluck meals with him of whatever we have on hand and share the end of the day. He and Liz will hopefully be our neighbors when they return the first of January; they at the Shalom house, us in Hope house.

Jeff practically arrived the same day we did in Kigali and has had no rest since arriving. He has a hilarious dry sense of humor, but was quite soft spoken until we got to know him. He has always asked us how our days have been and how we’re doing. He’s looking forward to returning to Seattle to spend the holidays with his family after already missing some traditions over Thanksgiving, but says he needs a little while more to finish his work here. He may return in January-February to do just that. If so, I’ve already invited him over for dinner.

A couple nights ago, Jeff gave David a hard time for just then telling him that if you turn the water pump on outside the water pressure in the bath will be much better. I think the reason it’s not left on all the time is two-fold. One, mercy house cannot stop nearby neighbors from taking the water at the pump and turning the pump off makes it harder; and two, it uses too much electricity to let it run 24/7. So, this night, around 10 o’clock, David prepared to lead Jeff out around back of the house to teach him what to do. The two came knocking on our door, giggling like boy scouts asking for flashlights. Equipped with flashlights and lanterns, they march out of the door as if beginning a ceremonious hunt and we heard them making a racket until they return minutes later, their faces much more boyish than their true years.

There is also a Sudanese party of three that has been staying at Mercy House for the past week. They are Bishop Micah, Evans, and Mama. Mama (head of the mothers’ union) and Evans (youth director) went home today while the bishop remains two days more to rest after a stomach issue. The first time I met Mama she shook my hand warmly and proclaimed, “I will pray for you to have a son” quite matter-of-factly. Perhaps, she will wait a few months. The three of them were here to exchange information concerning the trouble in Sudan, especially concerning Darfur. The bishop and his companions hoped to learn how Rwanda had moved past its own troubled years into a future that has been marked by leaps and bounds with development; both in buildings and in people. The group was chauffeured around to many diocese and events this week and I think the relationship between the two churches has been strengthened and there will be many more visits between the two.

So, with approximately 10 days to go before we’re in a home of our own, it will be bitter sweet to leave a house in which were able to share breakfast with such varied people.

No comments:

Post a Comment