Sunday, 3 June 2012


Some photographia of my cell. 


I could live quite comfortably.
I have four walls and a roof. A kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom.
I have a porch with two chairs, a table and Swedish milk can filled with flowers
 picked from the gardens protected by the guest house walls, gates and wires.
I have neighbours from Sweden, Norway and America who all speak English
and are foreign here as I.
I do not have to go out for food, someone comes and cooks here.
 I have internet that works...on and off, but so it was on my farm in Ontario.
I have power that works, except from 3:30pm to 6:30pm and in the middle of the night,
but quite frankly I've been looking for an excuse to read more.
Plus, laptops have batteries.

I am comfortable.

 It could be easy to forget that the low murmur I hear
from beyond the guest house walls
are the voices of a million people. 
It could be easy to forget that many are living in poverty
within a vastly wealthy country.
That many have been forced to move to the city due to war and conflict,
 that some have been forced or tricked into prostitution,
that many have been raped,
or have a mother, sister, daughter or wife that have been.

It could be easy to forget it, even here.
 Even in the middle of Bukavu, South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
 Even here I could forget it and live quite comfortably. 
And I will be flat out honest with you, 
a part of me would be content with, each day, staying in my little piece of paradise here. 
To do enough work or ministry to make me feel good about myself 
and then retreat to my own little haven.
I know it's selfish..
but there is a part of me content with ruling in my little kingdom of comfort and control,
but I'm glad I recognize this within me now.
 I'm glad I see it so that I can challenge it.

I know that when you are stretched is when you grow, 
and that it is uncomfortable to be stretched, 
and that it's not comfortable to be uncomfortable.

This might seem obvious,
 but it's easy to forget. 

It's one thing to say that you want to grow and be challenged.
It's quite another thing to realize that growing and being challenged is not required to be fun 
and that you are often only thankful for stretching experiences 
after they are over and rarely in the midst of them.
I've also come to realize something else.

That stepping outside your comfort zone is not at all merely about where you go.

Travelling to lowest ranking country for quality of human life among the nearly two hundred countries which the UN ranks does not necessarily mean that I have stepped out of my comfort zone.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is a condition of the heart and mind. 
It is a willingness to do what scares you.
 And this happens just as much in Canada, America, anywhere, as it happens here in Bukavu.

A lot of people were impressed that I chose to travel here to the Congo for my internship. 
And of course my ego liked that.
But I will say this, I think that it is just as impressive of a feat for someone to step out of their lovely walls of security and control in Canada 
and live unconventionally  
and love conditionally, 
perhaps even inconveniently, 
as it is for me to do that here.

It is just as impressive for someone to give up their comforts, 
their lust for materiality in North America, 
as it is for me to be comfortable with not having drinkable tap water 
and a kitchen sink that is electrically charged. 
Perhaps it is even more impressive for someone to do that in North America than here. 
Just a thought...

Comfort is not a crime, but it can be a prison cell. 

Oh my Kingdom of palace and my ruins. 

1 comment:

  1. great post Andrew... lots to think about!