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Mission Trip to Congo

June 9-25, 2006

This page will be used to keep everyone updated on the trip to the Congo which Mark will be making in June.  I will keep updates posted below as I receive them. 

For more information on the Congo Helping Hands organization, please see their website at: http://www.congohelpinghands.org/

Mark's support letter is in a pdf file and you may view it here: www.mtforge.com/missions.pdf.   You must have Acrobat Reader to view it.

The date & time in Bulape in the Congo is now:  

Updates

01/15/07 -- Well... what can I say?  Obviously I did not get any pictures uploaded for you to look at.  :-(   There's something about the need for time to do that.  I will try to put a few on here tonight quickly, with some captions, I hope.  Whether I ever get any more added remains to be seen.

Bulape smiths doing some hammering with their new sledge.  Note that the forge is placed in the ground, as in the picture in the middle.  To use a forging table for them meant that Rob and Mark "raised the ground."  At right, where you can see Mark & Rob working to cut a tension bar, you can also see the forge table they used to "raise the ground."  By the way, that tension bar was a bear to work with. 

         

More forge work by resident smiths.  Although they did have a nice small anvil (at right), they also could make a very small anvil by driving the stake anvil into a stump or very large branch.  In picture at right, notice that what they are using to hold the chisel they guy in the blue shirt is hammering.  This is what they had been using for tongs.  One thing Mark & Rob was able to teach them was how to make tongs. 

           

At left is a path through the village.  At right is their laundromat.  Notice how they dry their clothes?  Just lay them on the ground or on metal sheeting.

           

At left is their patch of corn.  At right is one of the classrooms in the school.  Some kids sit at desks, some don't.

           

The irrigation system worked on by Terese while she was there.  At right is a picture of their interpreter, Justin, with his family.  Note another "drying rack" for clothing... the roof of their hut.

           

Mark just took a picture.  It became apparent very quickly that the kids loved to crowd around and see the picture that was just taken.  At right are the "Mamas," the women of the village.  They were meeting with Woody to let him know what their needs were in the village.

           

Common method of carrying objects in the Congo.  They use baskets and fill them up!

Fishing ponds -- a source of some of their meat.

           

Going down to the ponds.  Note woman coming up carrying water in jugs.  At right, fishing the one of the ponds.

           

One of the churches of the village.  At right are a group of singers at the church.

           

Adzes which the smiths and carpenters made for Mark & Rob to take home with them. At right are the VIP seats.  While they were waiting for the plane to return them to Kinshasa, the villagers brought them chairs so they could wait in comfort.

The many villagers who turned out at the airfield to tell them "good bye."

 

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