He gives me two yogurts for dinner four nights ago. I immediately drink the banana flavored one because it is my favorite, putting the plain one in the “kitchen” area of the guesthouse.

Four days later, I return to the guesthouse after a long day of riding on the back of a motorcycle, doing site visits. I feel the sunburn on my face, neck and arms, and the grit in my hair as I get off the bike, but instead of p yogurt sitting around for four days in 95 degree heat. The stench of an exploded yogurt bottle is not great. It is good that I have a super power that has helped me all the years I have worked overseas or changed my children’s diapers: I can stop myself from smelling. Even though in real life I am a hound dog, able to discern smells from a long, long ways away, when I need to, I close things up and don’t smell. So, donning my superpowers, I clean up and take the best cold shower EVER. 

I wash my backpack and clothes, knowing all will be dry before I go to sleep tonight. Yes, it is that hot.


As I step outside, dear Jean-Claude is rearranging the charger, leaning it on a carafe so it catches the rays of a quickly setting sun. I ask to take his photo and he smiles widely, proudly….until the camera comes out. As most Congolese do when photos are being taken, he adopts a serious look, with shoulders thrown back and head held high.

I peek into the area where he has a fire going, heating up water for tomorrow morning’s coffee. Turning back, I notice that the paper towel holder has joined the hot water carafe in proping up the charger.

Jean-Claude, you sun chaser! Well done.