It’s been a while! I was recently away on a 10day roadtrip to visit a project aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality that is being implemented in North-Eastern DRC.
It was Sunday afternoon. I had arrived in the rural town the day before after a long drive along the bumpy dirt roads of Eastern DRC. We had been to church in the morning, and afterwards were invited by the Bishop of the Diocese to attend staff prayers in someone’s house that afternoon. So we went.
And there we sat under plastic tarpaulin sheets held up by rickety wooden poles in the back yard of the youth pastor’s house. The sheets flapped and rustled in the wind. In the background the generator hummed, coughing and spluttering every now and then to remind us of its presence. The prayers had finished and food was being served. It seemed oddly normal to be sat there watching two young lads fiddling with the TV they had set up outside, trying to attach it to the satellite dish and somehow get enough signal to watch Congo vs Algeria football match.
In the strange familiarity of the setting, I looked around me and soaked it in. Here I am, sat in DRCongo, in the middle of almost nowhere, watching football with the Bishop and other Reverends under plastic tarpaulin sheets. How did I find myself here?! The moment was surreal and yet felt so normal both at the same time.
And I thought back to other times during the trip:
Sitting on a rickety wooden stool in a semi-derelict health clinic interviewing pregnant women, trying to gauge the impact the project we are running is having in their lives.
Dancing at the ceremony for the opening of a new paediatric ward in a rural hospital we are working with.
Having to take a long diversion because the bridge we needed to cross the river with had collapsed the previous day.
Moments like these where again I questioned: How did I find myself here? Doing this, here. Being this, here. So different and far from anything and everything. But how could I be anywhere else? It feels so normal, so natural. As if I’d been made for moments like this.