Following the tradition of the Society, for the members to be equipped with two languages or more, it was high time we were to seal the academic journey by going to the source. French being very important, is the key statement one always refers to create the urge and thirst for it, as we continue to aspire to join the royal kingdom of service. The journey to and fro’ was accompanied by the goal of coming back to Jinja more eloquent in French than before in the lifetime.
The early returning one month before the culmination of the long holiday was proved to have been worthy of being sacrificed. Being a month of cold weather, the moan was always; “aujourdhui, il fait froid”, ‘it is cold today’. Some days the expression went further with correspondence to the weather, ‘aujourdhui, il fait très froid’, ‘it is very cold today’. All this made life in foreign countries both enjoyable and an arena of learning a lot.
In Kimisagara, Kigali, the one-week stay in the community created a better picture and environment of being a missionary. With different confreres present, they cordially did their best to create a splendid moment for our urge to learn this beautiful language. Being given a warm welcome and a clear proceeding, we were ready to continue with the voyage we had started since the year 2016. The location of house, on one of the gorgeous hills of the country, gave a tranquil view of the whole city and a clear invitation to explore other areas as we insert into the society; of which I believe is one of the effective ways of learning a language. Interacting with this beautiful creation of God was not the only way but class time needs to be credited for its impact. Much credit to Monsieur Landry, the lecturer in Kigali for his incredible work and the base he established as we proceeded to “the Great Bukavu”. Merci beaucoup monsieur!
Enjoying the beautiful scenery in Rwanda’s capital was not terminated there but advanced as we journeyed through the hills and the beautiful escarpments towards Rusizi-Ruzizi border. Luckily, there being no great population as postulated before, the processing and crossing over was swift. We crossed safely as others, among our very group were ‘warmly welcomed’ to the prodigious land of Republique Democratic du Congo. The Grand Maison not to be further than 200 M from the border, the walking distance was quite gratifying as we got the chance to hear the ‘Kiswahili of Congo’- Congolese Swahili. It was fun as some of the Swahili speakers among ourselves laughed at the language as we compared it and even calling it ‘dead Swahili’ in correspondence to the statement; ‘Swahili was born in Tanzania, grew up in Kenya, fell sick in Uganda and later buried in Congo’. Again, this was just for fun as we all strive to be joyful and thereafter achieving the ultimate goal, happiness.
The three weeks were noteworthy days for the continuous discernment process. Aided by many factors present in the area, we all came to an agreement that we learnt a lot and not just French, a language. With the help of Aimé Milenge, the enseignant in Congo, all went well. It will always continue to be our pleasure to continue to relate with these beautiful creation of God in Congo. God bless all who made the stay more comfortable in Bukavu. The natural features such as the Lake Kivu, the immediate feature, and Rwanda across it, made the place far much more beautiful.
Sincerely, it was a boundless experience for many of us, if not all. We thank the Almighty God for the moment of learning in the two beautiful countries and for enabling us to journey to and fro’ safely after the enjoyable arena of expounding knowledge. The extension of the gratitude goes to the formators on behalf of the Society of the Missionaries of Africa for believing in us. Lastly, appreciation goes to all who were involved both directly (and not mentioned above) and indirectly, for their inordinate support in order for us to have this phenomenal experience. We will live to cherish that moment as we aspire to be multilingual people, equipped well for the fulfilment of God’s mission wherever He will send us to attend to His creation.