Monday, February 21, 2011

From Whence I Commence Blogging Once More

Whoa, what happened?!  It’s been like 3 months!  I could tell you I’ve been super busy and I haven’t had a minute to type out a blog or that I’ve been so into living in Congo I’ve given up computers (except that I work at a Cyber café, so that’s not really going to happen).  The truth is, I just lost inspiration.  I have some nice blog topics all picked out and some even started, but I just couldn’t find the inspiration to write.  I would think occasionally of updating, but I just couldn’t do it.  I’m not way busy, I haven’t given up computers, but I did have a 3 month case of writer’s block.  I’m getting better now, so here I am attempting to blog again. 


There have been many, many changes.  When I abandoned all my loyal readers, we were 7 people celebrating Thanksgiving with disturbingly fresh Turkey.  Since then Lydia has returned to Canada, Clara returned to Italy for one month vacation and came back again, and Stefano, Maria, and Matteo returned to Italy for good.  We had some Italian visitors for Christmas- 2 of Sterfano’s friends came for 10 days.  Then my parents came for 3 days in Aru and a 10 day Safari in Tanzania.  After all these changes, Clara, Katie, and I are starting to build our new, 3 person, girl-power community and adjusting to changes in working and living.  I’m still working at Cyber and a bit at the bakery plus a little more on the library.  Things are much quieter (minus Italian men- also less smokey) and I’m looking forward to some stability in the community after over 6 months of constant change.  Truly, the community has not been stable for more than one month since I left for home in June.  Although it would be nice to have a fourth person (especially a guy with considerable computer skills who loves to sing karaoke), I’m very happy with stability for the moment.     


I’m the head of the Geek Squad now.  When Matteo left I looked around and suddenly realized I’m the number one Geek in town.  Katie and I think it’s hilarious we are the Congo Geek Squad- although we can both use computers, there is no way Best Buy would hire us.  Even so, we want to make Geek Squad t-shirts, and maybe even get badges.  If you’ve ever dreamed of being on Geek Squad but lack the actually technological skills necessary…come to Congo!  Our standards are much lower. 


The library construction has been underway for just over 1 year now, and we are nearing some stage of completion.  I’ve tried to be very patient, but I really want to see this thing up and running.  I’m getting worried I’ll have to leave before it’s even open!  The front rooms are almost done- the children’s classroom, the reception area and book storage, plus the first study room.  We are putting all of our resources into finishing these rooms so that we can open on a limited basis and then we will finish the 2nd study room and community/class room later when funding permits.  Our community is undertaking the painting ourselves (the Congolese painter was charging an exorbitant rate waaaay outside our budget) so now 2 afternoons a week we go on over to the library and paint away.  It’s actually a nice way for us to build our new community by working together and it is helping the library get to the point where it can open.  I’m still entering books into the catalogue, very, very slowly.  We are still looking for French language books- especially textbooks and nonfiction resources, so if you know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone at all that might have access to French books let me know!


You all know about the recent political unrest against the establishment in Tunisia, Egypt, etc. that is spreading across Africa and the Middle East?  Well, stay tuned for bakery news.

That’s a basic outline of life in Aru at the moment.  I do feel like I will be blogging more often now so check back again soon…maybe there will even be pictures next time! 


  1. Hi, Karen - great to read the blog post!! I have checked back a few times to see what you've been up to. I mailed the package later than I thought I would - but still in January. I think. I hope you receive it before you leave!! Love to you, Mary O'Neil