Finally the furniture had arrived!
It had come in a shipping container which had then been unloaded and taken by van to our brand new and final house.
The area was called Ma Campagne and was a little further out of Kinshasa than the previous place we were in.
The house had just been finished being built. It was surrounded by a few other houses but at some distance away.
The road leading to the property was a definite sandy dirt track this time full of troughs and potholes.
It would be finished at a later time.
( A similar house)
Dad took it steadily on the drive down to the house. It stood in an elevated position with stunning panoramic views over the land heading towards Kinshasa.
In an evening time amongst the lights in the distance, the runway lights at the airport would also be clearly seen.
The immediate landscape beyond the walls of the garden was given over to bush rather than rolling hills.
It was still a beautiful view.
The grounds of this house were very extensive but mainly uncultivated and consisted of soil and rubble yet again.
Wrought iron railings adorned the tops of the walls at the front and huge metal gates provided entrance.
The house was set back and lower to the level of the road and there was a brick block drive which led down hill which swept up to the front entrance and then carried on down to a garage area underneath the main building.
It was staggeringly huge!
About 10-15 steps and an ornate balustrade led up to large white double doors with arched glass inserts.
All the floors were marble and the place echoed. The hall was square and spacious.
To the right a door led into the kitchen and utility and access to the cellar and garage. Adjacent to that was a door to the dining room.
To the left was a guest bathroom and door to the bedrooms, five of them and four bathrooms.
We had a bathroom each, how incredibly bizarre!
Straight ahead were double doors which led into the biggest lounge I had ever seen!
It was as a big as a netball court!
At a guess it was near to 35-40 foot long from left to right and two huge windows with bars on the outside and there was mesh inside when you opened them so as to not let insects in.
To the right of the lounge were large patio doors which led onto a square covered and railed verandah with the fabulous views over the valley.
Mum was ecstatic! We were all a little in awe of the place.
Mum and dad were inspecting their furniture that they had chosen from the uk which was all beautifully in situe even down to wardrobes in the bedrooms.
The dining room had an imposing and very regal rosewood table on two elegant pedastals with clawed feet and eight chairs, two of which had arm rests and were positioned at either end.
There was such a shine on it that you could see your face in it. I knew this because I had bent low over it to check myself out.
On one wall was a long cabinet in rosewood which had a thick marble slab on top. Resting on the top was a silver tray with silver coffee pot, sugar basin, tongues and cream jug.
The cabinet glass inserts in the doors and behind was mums dinner service all neatly stacked and displayed.
Looking rather grand on top of the table were two silver candleabras.
In one corner was what mum called a hostess trolley, it was like a cabinet with hotplates in it for keeping food hot when you had guests.
Mum and dad were very pleased with their choice but it wasn’t to my taste, but then I didn’t know what my taste was really. It all seemed a bit over the top for me and I felt anxious about sitting at the table in case it got scratched.
On the football pitch was a large low coffee table, two black leather four seater sofas, I didnt know they made sofas this huge! To complete the set were two velvet reclining chairs which of course i couldnt wait to test out!
There was a fireplace at the left hand end of the room and a rug infront of it.
On further inspection on the rest of the house, the beds were all in place with bedding on that mum had bought and wardrobes were up and ready to use.
I was still puzzling about all these bathrooms and why there was so many, none of them were ‘ensuite’, they were all just off the corridor in the bedroom wing.
Tina was having so much fun, running from room to room following us around the house as we explored it.
My belongings had also arrived in a small trunk, toys, games and my books, I loved my books.
It was so nice to be able to place them in my bedroom to make it feel a little like home. Although it wasn’t really. I missed carpet, I wasn’t fond of tiled floors.
Louise’s record player had arrived too, we could have music! I had my own records which I had collected and couldnt wait to put them on full blast!
In each bedroom was an air conditioning unit on the wall under the window, bliss! We would put these on about half an hour before bed so atleast sleep would be bearable and not too hot.
We gained some new staff here, the cook was called Dzio.
He was very tall and slim and had facial markings that I’d seen before. He also had something curious about his teeth. The two front teeth had been filed to form an upside down ‘V’ which fascinated me and I would stare at him quite a bit in the early days.
He was very friendly, mum liked him straight away and I had no doubt that she would ferret out all the information about his family members and his life before too long.
He didnt speak english but mum had grown in confidence with her ‘pidgeon french’ and they got on incredibly well.
He was the best chef of all and his banana fritters were to die for!
The night watchman or the ‘Sentinel’ as they are known was another kettle of fish!!
It was the rainy season and the weather was even more humid than normal and it wouldnt be long before we would experience the storm of the century!