Sunday, July 14, 2013

Last Day

Good Morning from Kinshasa, 

It's 5 am. This is my last morning to watch the palms outside my window swaying in the dark, making beautiful shadows in the courtyard's glowing security light. Today is our last day to bounce around like pinballs, seatbelt-less, as our driver navigates Kinshasa's bumpy roads and chaotic traffic. It's our last day to worry about whether or not there is a microscopic tear in our American dollars (dollars are accepted, but only if new and in perfect condition), and our last day to marvel at the tall stacks of eggs, sodas, or fruit that Kinshasa women and men effortlessly carry on their heads as they walk down the dirty streets. It's also Kina and Godson's last day in their home country. I'm not sure Shekina understands this right now. I have asked the guide to talk to her in Lingala about it, but all I heard was some talk about how she was going to get on an "avion" and go up into the sky. I think I will ask him again today and make sure she knows we are her family; that she, Godson, and I will be living in a house together as a family; that we're not just going on a trip. 

While Godson has become more and more playful and cheerful by the day, Shekina has become more morose and sullen. She has good times with lots of fun, snuggles, and giggles, but it's clear she is grieving the loss of her friends and nannies at the orphanage, and possibly the loss of her biological parents. We won't know for sure until she can speak enough English to communicate her emotions and thoughts. Right now she is testing us in many ways; the iPad is now a major trigger for bratty fits that transition into fits of mourning. Bedtime is another major trigger. Anything that Shekina wants and does not get is a trigger. All we can do is be firm while loving her and holding onto her tight, let her know we love her and that she is safe. When the fits are over, her gap-toothed smile shines like the sun after a thunderstorm, and she giggles and plays again suddenly as if nothing has happened. I have been told it is good that she and Godson are grieving. It means they are dealing with their feelings instead of just going numb. I'm so glad to hear there's a positive to such a sad process. 

Our plane tickets have changed yet again, thanks to Turkish Air, who released the hold on our children's seats while holding onto ours. We are now on a new Turkish Air flight that gives us a night in Istanbul--YES!!!--before flying back to the states. I am so excited for my parents to see Istanbul, I can hardly stand it. I had planned to stay at the hotel and take care of the babies, but if they are doing well, we may just venture out and explore. I know already that Godson, who is fascinated with cars, would LOVE to go on a boat ride on the Bosphorus Strait. 

Well, I am going to log off and watch the palms sway in the breeze and listen to the strange bird songs of Africa. It has been such a pleasure to hear the birds at sunrise in both Kenya and Congo because they are so different. Yesterday, while swimming, we saw a flock of yellow and black finches and an irridescent, turquoise bird with a long orange beak! Hope everyone is well. 


Inspecting the employees' cars in the guesthouse's parking lot. He LOVED it. 

One last visit with the hawk. Shekina kept asking him to go into his ndako (house), but sadly, he did not oblige. She loves that he has his own house. 

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