When it Rains

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Here in Kinshasa, when it rains everything stops. 
People don't go to work or school, people in their offices stop working, people stop driving. It seems silly to us in North America and sometimes it is silly to see people inside their office buildings stop working, but there is some very real reasoning behind the cultural phenomenon.

This morning it started to rain around 6ish and we have to get Ruth off to school at 6:30. Usually snug as a bug in a rug in my home, I love to watch the rain and make myself a cup of tea and curl up on the porch. But this morning I had to get Ruth over to the neighbours to catch the ride to school. 
And today it's raining pretty hard. 
So we drive the 15 ft ;-) over to the Reiersons house with Nick who is picking up Brett to go to work. 
As soon as I get there I start loading the kids in the car one at a time, trying to pile them in without getting their shoes wet, while holding an umbrella. This pretty much leads to the river like down pour to be cascading down my back. I finally get all the kids in, pretty much giving up on the umbrella for myself and just trying to keep the kids dry.
I get a call from Brett letting us know the roads are rivers and taxis have stopped so our driver probably won't make it. I'm already wet so I jump in the car, throw Pascal in who gets soaking wet in the process. Jaclyn decides to come and help drop the kids off, then when we are just about ready to go, our wonderfully faithful driver shows up dripping and hops in the car in my place. Jaclyn still goes along with him since the kids are having a hard time in the car wondering why their parents are acting all crazy but we can't hear them yelling at us because the rain is so loud .... Haha 
It's all just sort of comical at this point... and wet... Oh so wet. Once the kids leave, Tasha gets in her car to come over to my place for tea but realizes as she does that her sunroof has been leaking and she has 2 inches of water in the bottom of her car! So she headed home instead where we can put her car under some protection from the rain. Which meant her little guy Sol had to hold his little umbrella over himself IN the car on the ride home to keep dry. 
Pascal and I got home, strip our clothes off and pray that Jaclyn and the kids make it all right. 
Jaclyn and our driver Michel did indeed made it to the school to drop off the kids only a few minutes late. Though they arrived to quite the sight. In front of the kids school there is a drainage canal called the 'Gombe River', this canal is about 10 ft deep and usually only has about 1 ft of water in it. When they arrived at the school the water was running over top of the bridge they needed to cross to get into the school! haha 
As of right now the kids are at school... mostly dry, Jaclyn and Michel made it back okay and are currently working on getting them selves dry and my phone is sitting in a bag of rice. 

Thinking back I realize that our Congolese brothers and sisters are probably looking at us crazy Mundeles (non Congolese folk) wondering why we wouldn't just sit back, stay dry and be content with being late or not arriving at all. 

Sometimes the way that other cultures do things are not right, they are not wrong, they are just different. Today we were the 'Different' ones, but not to sure we were the 'wise' ones ;-).