Friday, July 19, 2013

We finally made it to Kinshasa, DRC!

We left at 10:40 am from Brussels for the 8 hour flight to Kinshasa.  Once we boarded the plane, I suddenly didn't feel so well.  My nerves and adrenaline were getting the best of me.  This was the first time since we left that I really started to feel like this was really happening.  I had to focus on my breathing to try to take my mind off of feeling sick.  I was so excited but so worried about how everything was going to go.  In 8 hours I would be in the country my son has called home for the last 19 months!

When landed and had to wait a little bit to deplane because there was a UN plane that had landed right before us.

Once we got off the plane we had to board a shuttle to the airport in order to go through immigration.  People were pushing and shoving there was no order once we got to the immigration line.  People just cut in front of us and soon we were at the very end of the line, we just tried to understand that this is just part of their culture.
We went through immigration wondering how we were going to find the gentleman that was supposed to meet to help us maneuver through the airport and lead us to our attorney.  We didn't need to worry about finding him, he found us (we stuck out like a sore thumb!). The gentleman brought us to a small waiting area, away from the chaos of the baggage claim area.  We waited for about an hour then he guided us to the baggage area which was unbelievable.  There was nothing but chaos.  4 people deep to the conveyor belt.  People pushing one another in order to get their bags.  It took us another 20 minutes or so to finally get our bags then we were shuffled outside to meet our attorney.  We met 'G' outside of the airport doors and he led us through the crowded parking area to the car.
The drive to our guest house was nothing short of crazy.  There are no identifiable (that we could tell) lanes in the road, car horns blaring non-stop, people walking/running in between the cars.  The majority of the cars looked like they were on their last leg.  We saw one large passenger van (not in great shape at all) where the passenger jumped out each time they stopped (which was often since we were in stop and go traffic) to throw a rock under the tire to stop the van since they didn't have working brakes.
Another person's car broke down in the middle of the road and everyone kept honking for him to get out of the way, but there was so much traffic he couldn't go anywhere.  It took us about an hour and a half to get to our guest house from the airport (if there was no traffic it should have only taken about 30 minutes).  I've included a short video of the madness of the roads of DRC.

After a long day of travel we finally arrived at the Loge Familiale.

Tomorrow, we will meet our son!  

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