Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter in Bukavu

DR Congo is primarily a Catholic country, and the Archdiocese of Bukavu is a strong presence with Evecile Cathedral sitting atop a hill where it's visible from all over town.

The Catholic church does many good deeds here; it is responsible for running five hospitals in Bukavu, including Sosame, the psychiatric hospital, which is overseen by Brothers of Charity. The church also cares for street children, and one group of Nuns provides excellent vocational training, such as tailoring, for handicapped and disadvantaged people.

As everywhere, Easter is a joyous holiday, a time of resurrection and rebirth, certainly a time to celebrate, maybe even to buy a rosary to commenorate the event. 

I attended mass in the cathedral,

and then had Easter dinner with Roger, my interpreter, his wife Chantal, and their family.

Like many responsible families in Congo, Roger and Chantal are raising other children in addition to their own. Besides their young son and daughter, they care for six children who are vaguely related, making a total of eight children in their small bungalow. No one minds the crowding, and everyone seems to get along.

Grandmother, who is 78, lives nearby and dotes on her grandchildren. After dinner, we listened to ABBA, which was lots of fun, because the children danced while I translated the lyrics into an English they could understand. They are a warm, happy family that welcomed me into their home and made my Easter delightful. Thanks Roger and Chantal!

With love and gratitude,

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