**Disclaimer: These posts regarding our time in the DRC are honest posts about our specific experience. What we experienced will be very different than others who have traveled outside of the US before and are familiar with international travel. Being we are hillbillies and this is our first international trip, it was a little different for us. And these are just our opinions and thoughts.**
We left early on a Thursday morning to get to Minneapolis airport heading to Kinsasha. The thing we were most scared about on the whole trip was the airplane flights. But those ended up being the easiest, least scary part of the whole trip. Our flights to Kinsasha were easy and uneventful. Long and boring, but easy. We arrived in Kinsasha at 6:40 on Friday night. We were lucky to have another adoptive family on the same flight as us, so when we got to the airport we could stick together with them. The Kinsasha airport is definitely not like any other airport, it is unique and all it's own. But you know, it's Africa and the DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world, so what do you expect!! Navigating the airport was fairly easy. Our agency had things set up very well and our airport person met us right away and helped us get our luggage. We were glad to have him upon exiting the airport as there were a lot of guards staring at us, speaking quite loudly. We then loaded our luggage into a Jeep, except that there were 2 families and we had a LOT of luggage. Maybe pack light next time???? So we had to put suitcases under our feet and on our laps. And our friends had to sit on each other's laps in order to fit in the Jeep. Safety first baby!! The car ride to our hotels was crazy. And I came to find out that this was light traffic. Lots of cars going everywhere, honking the horn contantly, no stoplights, people walking in front of the cars. Because it was dark we didn't get to see much of the city; Matt and I's only memories of what we saw is that a lot of people were out partying. The sides of the highway were lined with people, fires are going and they are just hanging out and enjoying each other's company. They do life together so well in Africa. A lesson that we in the US need to learn from. We need to do life together better here instead of being so isolated. On a side note, we were the first family to adopt three kids with our agency, so we had a few hiccups. The first issue was the hotel. We had a hard time securing a hotel because the hotel our agency recommended did not want five people in one room. They told us no repeatedly and our in country staff no repeatedly. So our in country guy had lined up another hotel for us to stay at. Perfect! So we were informed of this on our way to our hotel. We arrived, looked it over, looked good, checked in. Went to sleep, ready for our gotcha day!!!
These are pictures taken from our hotel. It was like a tropical oasis. At this point we felt like we were on a tropical vacation. There was a restaurant next door to our hotel and we would hear the wonderful noises of women having a party. So vibrant and wonderful in Africa. So day one is a bit boring. Please stay tuned for Day 2- Gotcha Day. I guarantee it gets better and more interesting!!