Sunday, June 6, 2010
June 5 What a day!
Every seat on the plane filled with folks from Rome on our stop to refuel. Not too far past the end of “the boot” a man sitting beside us stood up, and then collapsed in the aisle. We quickly helped to find a doctor and an Italian translator while the Ethiopian crew stood by completely unresponsive. The entire time I was thinking…When is the right time to tell the pilot? How are we going to land on the water…or do we wait until we get to land ( northern Egypt in Africa) and hope he makes it? Fortunately a blood pressure cuff was located and the gentleman was cared for well. A sudden drop in blood pressure mixed with forgotten medication and no food was his diagnosis. Flying across the African continent was beautiful, especially across Congo. The Congo River winds distinctly through dense jungle for most of the way. Occasionally I would catch the glimpse of a few tin roofs…a small village I suppose. We arrive safely in Kinshasa and were greeted immediately. We were ushered through the diplomat line and never once had to touch any luggage. The local Congolese Christians took care of everything! All of our bags arrived and we met up with the Pastor Leon Mukendi, most of his sons, Dr Tim and Kathy Rice, Charlie and Pierre Svoboda. Someone suggested that we take a photo of the group while we were waiting for the luggage to get loaded. After a brief moment two Congolese soldiers approached us the group and wanted to arrest the Pastor and confiscate the camera. Apparently it is illegal to take photos in Congo. Fortunately he was used to the “system” and was able to convince the soldiers that they could not arrest American citizens, paid them ½ of the bribe they were asking from Daddy’s wallet and we were on our way! 22 hours of flying from Dulles to Kinshasa.