Day 33 – June 15

Today, we had a big CAH meeting. Kasonde is currently in the United States, so the meeting just consisted of Phanuel, Assumpta, and I. Phanuel asked me about my plans for after this internship and we got to have a good conversation about some general options – finishing my MPH and then going straight into a doctorate program, or getting a job. When the job option came up, he began to ask questions about where I was willing to live, if I had any prospects currently, etc. Then, he offered to speak to the colleagues that he has in the United States. I was stunned at the offer and probably didn’t react the best, but I’ll talk to him again about it, as I get ready to leave.

Also in this meeting, he said the Lesotho has scheduled their meeting to arrange health standards for their adolescents for the 2nd week of July and that he is planning to speak to Tigest as he’d like me to attend as the WHO-AFRO representative. WHO would pay for the flight (Brazzaville, Congo to Johannesburg, South Africa, then into Maseru, Lesotho), hotel, and per diem while I am there. Then he encouraged me to spend a few days in Johannesburg either on my way to or from the trip. He said he can talk to Tigest about giving me a few days off and then I can see that part of South Africa too. I think that’s a great idea!

Phanuel is out of town this next week, then everyone in our little group will overlap the following week so they would like to see the basically finalized version of my report on June 25. (I am also teaching two health classes on June 23, so next week is going to be a busy week at work. ) He will then be out of town for the 1st week of July, I will be out of town for the 2nd week, and then he will go on summer leave (vacation) until Aug 1st. It is crazy to think that we basically overlap for only one more week before August is here and I am wrapping up and heading back to the states. I have a feeling the month of July is going to fly by!

After work, Jenny and I dropped off our stuff and headed to Mami Wata, which is considered to be one of the best restaurants. It is right on the river and had a beautiful view as you can clearly see Kinshasa. Shortly after we ordered our food, in walked my boss, Phanuel. He said hello and then sat with a boy and older gentleman at the table next to us. He was facing me the whole time, which was kind of a funny feeling. Jenny and I had a wonderful time chatting and she primarily wanted to know about church in the sense that it seems so organized, etc. then we talked about Mitt Romney and she wanted to know if I thought he had turned his back on our religion… interesting interpretation since I hadn’t taken it that way at all. I thought he was just being very appropriate with keeping things separate… Jenny does not believe in God, but thinks that the church structure and organization is impressive. She also told me that I am the first Mormon she has met – I had no idea, sure hope I’m leaving a good impression.

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