Bonjour! This is my first blog post, and bonjour is pretty much all of the French I know. This may not be ideal for a French speaking nation, but people have been very nice about it. The past few days trying to get here have been pretty hectic (22hours of flying, plus another 10 of layovers and 7 time zones), but I am finally at my new home.
Now, a lot of us were assuming that I might not have running water, and some that I would be in a hut. However, in reality, this place is like a resort but for men. I have a decent room with satellite TV that has all of the major American networks and more (sadly, no Longhorn Network), and they have the Tonka trucks we played with as kids, but in their adult sized form. Even my first meal here was really good. I think a lot of us were expecting I’d be eating bugs like on the Food Network, and that I might go hungry for a while, but this turned out to be an excellent version of dorm food.
Everyone has been very nice, but the people I work closely with have been the nicest. They really care about the communities we are involved in, and I am really glad to be here. I don’t speak any of the languages I need to besides English (Lingala, Swahili, and especially French), but I think I will enjoy this job a lot. Especially once I learn some of these languages.
Thanks to everyone for giving me an incredible amount of encouragement. I am quite far from home, but knowing that so many people support me really gives me the confidence to go halfway across the world for my first real job. While no previous work experience could really have prepared me for this anyways, knowing that so many people think I will succeed certainly makes me think that I will.
P.S. They apparently block sites like Facebook, this blog, and other things during the day. So, looks like I will be getting a lot of use out of my kindle when I am not working.
18 thoughts on “My First Day at Kibali”
Best of luck! I’m so happy that you took the plunge a couple of months ago. I’ll follow the blog faithfully! Can’t wait to hear everything!
Yeah, the social filter turns off around 10 pm, it is to protect the satellite bandwidth for working. I will be watching and making sure that you survive on my beautiful continent. And I bid you an official welcome to Africa!!!!
haha, that makes sense. Thanks! It’s so good to finally be here. There are a lot of South Africans here which makes it strangely familiar, lol. Good night, glad I have a good friend in the same time zone as myself!
I can’t wait to hear about your adventures!
No doubt you will succeed at whatever you undertake! Glad the food is good! 😉
Hey, Preston, what an experience for you. We are so happy for the challenges that are ahead for you. Enjoyed reading your blog. God bless you in your new adventure. Our Paul, and his wife, Tammy are in Guatemala for 10 days on a missions trip. Love and prayers, Lester and Eleanor Heinzman
yay glad you made a blog and that you are liking it so far:) learn french and come back and teach me.
Merci! For the blog update! (Now you know 2 french words. hahaha). In Swahili, “Jam-bo” (Schwa “a”–not sure of the spelling) means hello! So you are good to go! Looking forward to more of your updates. Glad you arrived safely.
Sounds awesome. What a great experience. Do a good job and learn a lot… including french!
I am so glad to hear you made it safely and that your living conditions were better than predicted. I can’t wait for pics!
Love you and be safe!!!!!!
What an experience! God bless you and your work.
Glad you made it OK, best of luck!
Also, don’t worry, most people in the US don’t get the Longhorn Network either 😉
I sent a previous message but forgot to sign it. Hope you received it, but if not, I’ll just repeat that I am glad that you are finally at your location. That was quite a journey. Also, I learned that Kelsey Hawkins is a friend of yours. Her dad is a friend of mine. In fact he and another officer of the Christian Church Foundation stopped by to see me yesterday. It is a small world! I am looking forward to hear how everything goes for you in the Congo.
Interesting info about the new housing, etc. your company is building. Steph and family and Ashley, plus Doug & Anjuli came for dinner last evening. We enjoyed our visit before Steph, Mat & Maddie head for California. After dinner we all watched “Smokey & the Bandit.” I’ve seen it so many times that I know the lines, but your sisters, Mat and Anjuli had not seen it before. Remember, we all love you.
What a wonderful thing you’re doing. I’ve been a friend of your family for more years than I care to recount. I look forward to following your blog.
Preston, I Love Love Love reading about your experiences. You’ve come a long way since Tiger Cubs! God Bless You and stay safe. Sabra Hawkings
its good to see this development in part of DRC,am one of the guys who came from far as well with no one to speak to in Bemba or Nyanja from Zambia…I have enjoyed reading this since am on site a week now,