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Goma Cheese

Posted by Owen Fuller on February 6, 2014 in reflections |
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Our family just returned to the States on furlough.  It’s a big change going from living a couple degrees north of the equator to an Iowa snow storm. Oh, well…c’est la vie!  The snow is kind of nice to see, but it’s bitterly cold.  The wind chill is supposed to hit -30 degrees Fahrenheit tonight (for you non-US readers, that translates to “really freaking cold” in Celsius).  I’m not sure which is better, the bitterly cold and snowy Midwest, or the hot and dusty dry season we just left in Congo.  Each place definitely has it’s things which are better than the other place.

Aside from weather, another thing I was thinking about last night was cheese.  We were walking through the grocery store, and had picked up a few of the cheeses we hadn’t had for a couple of years.  Munster, colby jack, and pepper jack were some of the varieties we had been missing.  It’s nice to have variety again!

In Congo we only had one cheese–Goma cheese.  It was named for the city where it is produced.  It’s basically a Gouda cheese, but we found it tasted like anything from mozzarella to sharp cheddar depending on its age. There were some other varieties available in Uganda, but the prices were expensive.  For nearly the last two years we had been getting 1 kg (2.2 lbs) wheels whenever the pilots would fly to Goma and have weight available on the return flight.  Often we’d get 10 wheels at a time, and us it over several weeks.  The funny thing is, when I saw the Gouda cheese in the store yesterday, I kind of missed the Goma cheese.  This was especially true when I saw the price difference.  Gouda cheese at our supermarket here in Iowa is about $10 per pound.  In Congo a 2.2-pound wheel was only $5 (or about $2.27 per pound).  Some things really are better there.

Coincidentally, I was not the only one interested in Goma cheese this week.  I just saw it tonight on Facebook, but here is a BBC article published three days ago about our beloved cheese.  Perfect timing.  Enjoy the article, and if you’re reading this from east Africa, then enjoy some Goma cheese for me too!

BBC News – The rare art of cheese-making in DR Congo.

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Our Family Featured in MAF’s Flightwatch

Posted by Owen Fuller on January 8, 2014 in reflections |
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This is actually a couple of months old, but there’s a nice little story about our family that went out in the winter edition of Flightwatch, MAF’s quarterly newsletter.  It’s a quick read, and well written article that was put together by one of our pilot’s sister, Luanne.

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Tweaking the Firewall

Posted by Owen Fuller on December 6, 2013 in IT |
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It’s always nice to have projects which take me out of the office for awhile.  Sometimes those projects take me across the country, and other times it’s just across town.  This morning it was the latter.  I went down to Université Shalom de Bunia, the Christian university in town, to help Ted, Martin, and Patrick […]

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VSAT Work in Nyankunde and Juba

Posted by Owen Fuller on October 8, 2013 in IT |
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Wow, it’s been too long since I’ve written a post on here!  We’ve had such a busy summer with comings and goings.  I’ve made two trips to South Sudan, and various trips around DRC as well.  It’s October, and we’re about half a year out from furlough, so it’s time to start planning that suff!  […]

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One Year in Congo

Posted by Owen Fuller on June 13, 2013 in milestones |
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Wow! It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been here for a year now! It’s been challenging, for sure. We’ve struggled to communicate without formal language training. We’ve constantly dealt with power and water issues. The kids have made never-ending messes. The weather has always been too dry or too wet. The to-do lists have been […]

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‘Tis the Season to Get Robbed

Posted by Owen Fuller on November 12, 2012 in life less than perfect |
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In addition to bringing some of my favorite holidays, November and December also means crime season here in Congo. There’s a marked increase in the number of thefts this time of year. I presume it is because people are looking to provide for their own Christmas celebrations, but I’m really not sure. While we haven’t […]

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