The first time I went to the Congo was Christmas break of 1996, my first freshman year of college. I got off the plane in DC and had to take a cab or the metro to the house we were renting (long story) and then take some mefluquine and then watch Mom flip out about the packing for a few hours and then walked over to Dave's house to say hello and then goodbye. We left for Dulles about 6 hours after I got into town. Then we flew to Brusselles(whatever) and then the congo.
Christmas dinner was crazy. Mom was only able to find a massive, bigger than my head by far, squash and overcooked it. She was very frazzled being there and tried to make a cheese sauce. The sauce was great and the squash really dry. So we were all trying to ladle as much sauce as possible to make the squash palatable. We had about half the sauce we needed but no one was saying anything about it, we just sat there eating becuase we were worried my Mom would flip out about the whole thing. After my third trip to refill teh water pitcher from the filter in the kitchen my Mom just looked at me as I filled up our glasses and sat down. 'The squash came out a little dry, didn't it?' She asked. Me and Tim agreed and my Dad just sort of wiggled his eyebrows and we all looked at each other for a few seconds before we all started laughing. It was by far the worst Christmas dinner but we were laughing like crazy. hell, we were in Africa, shell shocked and eating an enormous squash that hard been cooked almost hard enough to build a house out of it.