And here is one last question from the give-away. Julie asked...
"Where do you live? In an apartment or a house? & are you ever scared?"
We live in an apartment. It is not much to look at, but it fits us perfectly. That is our door on the second floor of the building. We share our balcony with our neighbors, which means that there are always a number of small children running by, pots boiling on a small charcoal grill, and clothes being washed. We can watch the world go by from our balcony. Trucks arrive carrying all manner of goods, from palm oil to toilet seats. The goods are unloaded and crowds gather. Shouting and chaos ensues, but in the end all the goods get carried off and everyone seems more or less happy.
My husband and I are pretty quiet people and highly value having a place to chill where we don't have to worry about being hospitable all the time. This is perhaps a bit much to ask in Africa, where life is expected to be communal and visitors are always welcome. Miraculously, our little apartment, which by every account is in the middle of the hustle and the bustle of Goma, has somehow managed to become a haven for us. I must admit that other foreigners seem to visit our apartment and ask "how do you live like this?" Perhaps they are noting the fact that our neighbors currently have a live rooster tied to the balcony, or perhaps they are noting the fact that there is nothing green in sight, or the water doesn't run. But, for us, it works. Living here has been one of my favorite parts of Goma. We have incredible neighbors who have taken us under their wings and never once asked us for a thing. And we have the incredible good fortune of a bird's eye view on a place that is surely one of the most interesting places in the world.
Do I ever fell scared? I am going to save that for my next entry :)