Saturday, June 21st – Our plan today was to meet with a realtor who could show us housing options in Belas, a subdivision south of Luanda. After talking briefly with her, we realized that renting in Luanda is absolutely prohibitive (a small, three-bedroom apartment rents for $1800 a month and up; a modest house would rent for $3000 - $4000 a month), so we decided not to waste her time and parted ways. We went to the tourist market to do a little souvenir shopping, then to the mall for lunch – it was like a mini-America. Well, except for the fact that we had to pay about $13 for Alex to spend an hour playing in the little kiddie play area. Then, we came home. After we had dinner and put Alex to bed, we were finally able to watch the season finale of LOST, complete with popcorn. (Thank you, Helmer Jensen and i-Tunes for making this possible!)
Sunday, June 22nd – We worshiped with another ICA church today. The service lasted until 1:30. Alex did well for the most part. He got very restless towards the end. After that, they fed us lunch. Most of the group spent the afternoon visiting with some of the leaders while Teague and I watched Alex play outside. We didn't leave until after 4:00, and then we went to see two other churches on the way home. It was a very long and exhausting day – our last Sunday in Angola.
Monday, June 23rd – Most of the group spent the day downtown. Rusty, Alex, Katie, and I spent the morning at home and headed downtown after Alex' nap. We had planned to meet up at the old slave fortress turned museum. Once we arrived, we found out that everyone else had gone to watch a soccer game. The four of us walked around the fortress for awhile, then headed out to the Ilha (peninsula) for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant ended up being closed, so we ate at Bob's Burgers (a Brazilian fast-food chain). They had a nice play area for Alex, and we didn't have to pay for it! The rest of the group came to Bob's after the game and we all went home together where we enjoyed chai and Katie's homemade apple pie!
Tuesday, June 24th – I was feeling a bit under the weather this morning, so Alex and I enoyed a day at home. The rest of the group headed up to Caxito, a city north of Luanda, for the day. We thought Caxito would be close enough to allow us to work in and around Luanda, but far enough away to make living there a bit more affordable. But we should have known better than to be fooled by distances on a map. The trip to Caxito took about 3.5 hours, one way. So, the group spent 7 hours in the car and about 1.5 hours in town looking around. Needless to say, I don't think we'll be living in Caxito.
Wednesday, June 25th – Katie, Jordan, Teague, and I attended a women's worship service in the morning. I was going to speak to the women, but they could not locate a translator (or at least one who could translate from English to Portuguese -- there was one who could have translated from French to Portuguese). So, we ended up singing a few songs, which they seemed to enjoy. They served us lunch, and then we went home. Some of the group visited a few more ICA churches in the afternoon. For dinner, we grilled out hamburgers for the Jensens and McHaneys -- our way to say thank you to these missionary familes in Luanda who have been so good to us!
Thursday, June 26th -- We visited two ICA churches and the Assemblies of God seminary where several of the ICA ministers have received their training. This was followed by lunch with Andre Banda, the "president" of ICA and his wife. It was our last night to be all together as a team, so we made pizza, played cards, and just enjoyed some down time.
Friday, June 27th – Danny left for Zambia very early in the morning. Some of the group went to the mall to have lunch and see a movie. Rusty, Alex, and I stayed home and focused on packing since we were leaving very early the next morning.