You all keep asking if I have heard from my mom yet. I finally did this weekend. Here is what she has to say:
Just want to tell everyone we are safe. Arrived Friday night. 36 hours in flight. Grueling. Are going to Kigoma tomorrow. What I have seen so far defies all imagination. Can't take time to tell you now, but am journaling everything so I will be able to share when I get home. I have limited time on the puter, so must sign off.
And then this one came today:
We arrived in Kigoma at about noon today. Am safe with the Stillman's at this time. Are trying to make plans for when we go where. Culture is so different, am having a difficult time seeing the poverty I am seeing. It is a way of life here. We will be going to one of the refugee camps this week sometime. I can see the Congo from the Stillman's front window. They are about 4/5 of the way up the lake from the southern tip. The lake is 400 miles long and 30 to 50 miles wide. They tell me it is the 2nd deepest lake in the world. Kigoma is also right on the border of Tanzania and Burundi. Geography lesson for today.
Flying from Dar es Salaam took about three hours. It took 4.5 hours to fly from Seattle to New York. In all fairness, I was on a prop to Kigoma and a Jet to from Seattle. A difference of about 200 miles per hour.
Chuck, I still have had all of the Toilet Paper I need. Will see how things are once we get to the camps. I think we will go to one of them this week. Are getting only one day in each, had hoped for more but the officials say that since they are being sent back to Congo they do not need visitors any more. Whew, the corruption is amazing.
I am taking as many pictures as I can, but I have to be careful as so many places do not want you to photograph them and some of the people are insulted if you photo them also. I always ask before I do.