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Saturday, February 27, 2016

News from Congo!

News from Congo!
Sunday, February 21 I left Yaounde (Cameroon) on a flight to Congo. Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is just south of Yaounde, a couple of hours by plane. But to reach Kinshasa, it’s a bit more complicated: from Yaounde the flight takes 4 hours eastward Nairobi (Kenya) and from Nairobi the flight turns towards West, for another 4 hours, to Kinshasa. At the end I traveled more than 7,000 km instead of 1,800.
Kinshasa is a very large city: from 10 to 12 million populations, possibly even 15 million. It is situated on the Congo River that splits the city and the Country from the other Congo, whose capital Brazzaville is right in front, by the other shore of the river.
 I arrived at midnight. I meet there Fr.Roger and Fr.Valentin, two Congolese Carmelite Friars.  They give me a warm welcome taking me to their convent, the Teresianum, in downtown. There are large roads, at least for the more important directions.
On Monday, while waiting for the other participants, I give myself a bit of rest. 
I have also time to meet two friends who work for the European Union,

with whom we worked in Central Africa Republic to find a solution to the problem of gangsters.
In the evening all the others Carmelite Friars are with us too. It is a meeting for the leaders of the various Jurisdictions of French-speaking: from Central Africa Republic, Rwanda-Burundi, Congo, Cameroon, Senegal, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso. We work together for three days, discussing and sharing the various experiences of our Countries, working out to give a more clearly African face to Carmel and the Church for which we work.  It is a beautiful experience, because besides working in different African Countries, we come also from different Countries and cultures. Thursday evening we meet the Discalced Carmelite Nuns for the Eucharistic celebration. Eventually they welcome us dancing and singing. We all end sharing supper. At 11.00 pm I leave for Nairobi and Yaounde, dreaming for a nice trip.

Kinshasa, il fiume e Brazzaville

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