The previous night, someone in the neighborhood played loud music from dusk to dawn. The music stopped only when the sun began to rise. Because of the open windows, we hear most of what is going on beyond the walls. When we asked about the music at breakfast we were told that there had been an wake at a neighbour’s house. The whole family gather when someone has died to take a proper farewell to the one who has passed away. This is an old tradition and it is considered to be important.
Today we left our laundry to the two ladies who work here in the house again. They wash everything by hand. Our clothes become nice and clean, and they dry quickly in 35-40 degree heat. Clean clothes are a hallmark of the Congolese, not to speak of the schoolchildren in their shiny white shirts and dark skirts or pants. They are always clean, although there are no washing machines in most houses.
After breakfast we went to the county office to meet the Mayor. We were well prepared with lots of information to present. The meeting were to take place at 10 a.m. After an hour of waiting Yapeco called the mayor and asked what was going on. The executive made excuses and told Yapeco he had had to take care of a meeting with striking truckdrivers. The strike is apparently widespread and affects many parts of the society. We fully understand his priorities as this was certainly more important than our meeting. But it is negligent not to inform us about his unavailability. We could have used our time better than to sit and wait for a local politician in his office.
In a somewhat irritated mood, we went to BGFI Bank and had a meeting with the manager, Pascal Difuidi, and his associate, Blanche Massanga. We talked about our work, and presented our need of a cooperation with a bank. Our goal is to have a regular bank to handle the loans to our entrepreneurs. MSG need to let go of the money management, there are others who are better equipped in this craft. After the meeting, we handed over a binder containing the accounting of a group of entrepreneurs and a list of what we want to get out of a cooperation. Now, we await their response with interest.
We returned to Yapecos house in time for dinner which today consisted of chicken, rice, manioc, sakasaka and for dessert bananas. After a short siesta, I devoted myself to office work. The living room of Augustine and Yapeco’s house is now used as dining room, office and TV room simultaneously. Luckily, it is large enough to cover all functions.
When bedtime was approaching I asked whether my freshly washed sheets were ready to use. But the service department didn’t want to leave them to me, because the sheets had not been ironed. Since I’m not used to sleep on ironed sheets, I gladly accepted them in that state. It is good to have what you’re used to, innovations may disrupt your sleep.