My Twitter Feed

August 6, 2021

Headlines:

Secret Mormon fascist outed in the Department of Law? -

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Alaska GOP Goes Full Cannibal -

Friday, July 16, 2021

Shenanigans & a Secret Stalker! -

Friday, July 9, 2021

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 24)

In my last post, I talked a bit about Andrew’s birth and foster families. My relationship with them is complicated at best. I’ve been told that the little boy in the picture is Andrew’s older brother, Baracka or Barack (his foster mother calls him Barack, his father calls him Baracka). While it’s certainly crossed my mind that it could be a lie, I’m inclined to believe that it’s true. I first learned of Baracka in August, when I asked Andrew’s foster mother for a picture of his birth parents. She sent three: two from their wedding day, and one with…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 22)

  By Erin Pohland Returning to Alaska was hard, knowing that I would leave again for good. It was also overwhelming, as I attempted to pack for a cross-country move with a toddler. Poor Andrew had already been through a lot of change in his life, and he got increasingly clingy with each box that I packed. My boxes certainly weren’t anywhere near as well-packed or organized as they were when I had moved to Alaska, but I had more important things on my mind. Saying goodbye was beyond difficult, particularly for my two closest friends in Alaska and their…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 17)

By Erin Pohland Days 20 and 21 Good evening from Kinshasa- In 48 hours, I hope to be on a plane back to the U.S.  In 48 hours, I hope to get through customs with the help of someone called a “protocol,” who will deal with the paperwork relating to the baby for me.  In 48 hours, I hope to say au revoir to Kinshasa, possibly forever. But what to do between now and then? Today, I spent some time packing; I certainly bought more African art than I expected.  Between that and Andrew’s scooter (handmade by his foster family…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 16)

By Erin Pohland Days 18 and 19 Hi from Kinshasa- The past few days have been relatively tame, in terms of my typical day in Kinshasa. Yesterday, Andrew and I didn’t leave the apartment — and Andrew didn’t leave my arms. I must admit that as much as I love my son, it gets a bit old to constantly carry him. I would have thought that he would have adjusted to the cats by now, but he hates them just as much as he did on day one (although now, he does the “shoo fly” motion towards them that I…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 15)

By Erin Pohland NOTE: I wrote this post from Kinshasa on June 30, the Congo’s 51st anniversary of independence from Belgian rule. On November 28, 2011, the Congo will hold its second election since the “end” of its civil war in 2002. Whatever your beliefs, please take a moment to think of or pray for the Congolese people tomorrow, and on December 6, when the election results are scheduled to be read. Election watchers have grave concerns about the potential for election fraud and ensuing violence — regardless of who wins (incumbent president Joseph Kabila or his main challenger, Etienne…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 14)

By Erin Pohland Day 14, Kinshasa Hey all- I’m utterly exhausted, so this email will be very short. The good news: we got the visa! The bad news: my agency (via Reverend Bashaka) messed so many things up that I had to spend 4 hours at the embassy fighting with the consul to get it, and I’ve now hired a local lawyer, and I’ll need to hire a translator tomorrow to get documents translated for the embassy. In addition to not having the proper birth certificate or signed relinquishment papers in Swahili, Bashaka also never bothered to have the entire…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 13)

By Erin Pohland Good evening from Kinshasa- Andrew and I had a fairly eventful day, starting with a mosquito net maze (he LOVED waking up in it, and played with it for about 20 minutes before he let me take him out of it), proceeded to him bathing himself in peanut butter, and ended with him going to sleep early….big day at the embassy tomorrow! J picked us up around 11 a.m. to go to the Symphonie de Arts, which is a gorgeous art gallery in the nicest section of Gombe (the same neighborhood of Kinshasa that I’m in, but…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 12)

  Day 11 Hey all- Today was a very easy day, so I’m making this short — I want to get some sleep!! Andrew got bitten by some bug in the middle of the night, and he woke up screaming and scratching at it at 4 in the morning. Needless to say, I’m a bit tired…. I went to the Embassy as planned today, and was told that my visa is “pending.” I don’t have the energy to describe the details, but the short story is that the Embassy screwed up again. They’re claiming to not have a document that…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 11)

By Erin Pohland Greetings from Kinshasa, the city where my baby eats everything he can! So, today it happened — the DHL plane left from Goma, Reverend Bashaka picked up the Swahili paperwork (with translations — certified and notarized! — in French AND English) and brought it to me. I took it to the Embassy. They now have EVERYTHING, and have no excuse to not issue Andrew’s visa. Given that I’ve provided his official birth certificate listing his mother and father’s name, his mother’s death certificate and his father’s certified and notarized statement of relinquishment in 3 separate languages, I…

Dispatches from the Congo – A Journey of Love (Part 8)

Bonjour from Kinshasa! Kinshasa used to be known as Kinshasa La Belle — Kinshasa the Beautiful. Now, it’s known as Kinshasa La Poubelle — Kinshasa the Garbage Can. It’s a very apt description. This city is wearing on me a bit. What was new and exciting for the first 5 days or so begins to get old after the first week. The power outages aren’t helping — the internet is my lifeline to the outside world! I think the hardest thing about this city is that I always feel dirty — like no matter how much I scrub, I’ll never…