Schotanus Africa page

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Schotanus Africa page, AIM, Congo/Uganda/Kenia, 1958 - 1965

'Bika Mono Ve' / 'Pass me not', by Selah (in Kituba)

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CONGO 1959-1962

Joop and Mieke went to Africa with the AIM, the Africa Inland Mission , founded nearly a century earlier. They had finished Bible school at EBI European Bible Institute near Paris, and had to complete a year of colonial administration in Brussels to be aware of efforts to improve Congo's situation, before being allowed to depart for Belgian Congo in 1959. Here Joop was busy, in his split-screen VW combi, administering 130 (mostly remote jungle) schools and teaching at the local African seminary, as well as providing a sermon in unadulterated Bangala on Sundays, the lingua franca at the time.

Eventually the eldest, aged five, went to Rethi mission school, but his education was interrupted, possibly permanently, during the unrest following the sudden independence in 1960, with the Soviets calling via short-wave radio to 'kill all the whites'. Some Congolese may have been ready for the change, others came with a suitcase to the local administrator demanding their 'independence'. Several siblings were born in nearby Uganda, at Dr Williams' AIM Kuluva mission hospital. My folks with many other missionaries had to leave Congo permanently in 1962. Doctor Becker eventually came back to continue his work with the Ituri Forest Pygmies, and was instrumental in finding a cure against leprosy.

Bwana Skotanussi

Read about Joop's adventures (in Dutch): 'Bwana Skotanussi, de tropenjaren van Joop en Mieke'






1958/59 Brussels Colonial Administration course

1958 preparations for Congo in Brussels with Jan ter Braak

1958 Koloniale opleiding Belgisch_Kongo in Brussel

1958 Brussel

1959 Off to Belgian Congo

1959 Flying with Sabena to Stanleyville, their last profitable year

1959 broertjes van Amsterdam naar Stanleyville. Sabena's enig winstgevend jaar

1959 DeHavilland Comet, naar Stanleyville

1959 van Stanleyville naar Bunia

1960 to Aru in Belgian Congo

1959 our house in Aru, Congo, later burned during the unrest

1959 our house in Aru, Congo

1959 our house in Aru, Congo, later burned down

1959 art class at our house in Aru, Congo

1959 art class at our house in Aru, Congo

1959 River baptisms, Aru, Congo

1959 River baptisms, Aru, Congo

1959 Church conference, Aru, Congo

1959 Church music, Aru, Congo

1959 huis met veranda, Aru, Congo

1959 Jan David, Aru, Congo

1959 Aru, Congo

1959 tropenbedje, Aru, Congo

1959 Sunday walk, Aru, Congo

1959 life on the Veranda, Aru, Congo

1959 Aru, Congo

1959 Girl homes, Aru, Congo

1960 our house in Aru, Congo

1960 Adi Bibleschool with Dave Richardson (director Pete Stam), COngo

1960 Aru, Congo

1960 Aru Anthill, Congo

1960 Art Students, Aru, Congo

1960 800 seat church Aru, Congo

1960 church service Aru, Congo

1960 music in church Aru, Congo

1960 Church elders, Aru, Congo

1960 Daniels fans, Aru, Congo

1960 Daniel three wheeling, Aru, Congo

1960 Daniel on Anthill, Aru, Congo

1960 ducks, Aru, Congo

1960 Evening walk, Aru, Congo

1960 picknick in Aru Congo

1960 transport in the bush, Aru, Congo

1960 February Aru, Congo

1960 our pet, a Goat, Aru, Congo

1960 for a stroll around our house in Aru

1960 friends Aru, Congo

1960 June, Aru, Congo

1960, Aru, Congo

1960 Becker, Dix, Schotanus kids, Aungba, Congo

1960 Oct Daniel's keen eye for Africa, Aru Congo

1960 Oct, Aru Congo

1960 Nov, livestock

1960 Aru, Congo

1960 picknick by our house in Aru, Congo

1960 picknick by our house in Aru, Congo

1960 Sept, Aru, Congo

1960 toys, Aru COngo

1960 Students in Aru, Congo

1960 teachers

1960 Austin & Betty Paul

1960 pig, Aru, Congo

1960 VW, Aru, Congo

1960 Aru Wedding Juli, Congo

1960 Becker's house, Congo

1960 Becker's family, Carlos, Peggy, Congo

1960 Chicklets, Congo

1960 Uncle Jack Litchfield, 40yr missionary veteran

1960 collecting ants for food, Congo

1960 Daniel holding up the world

1960 donkey, Congo

1960 Eddie Schuit's Bibleschool

1960 Eddy & Nellie Schuit, Congo

1960 annual grass fires, Congo

1960 Hut inspection with Daniel

1960 Aungba cowskinner, Congo

1960 Aungba school class

1960 Manioc fields, with teacher training school in background, Congo

1960, May, Congo

1960 Mieke and Ms Laura Bell

1960 Mom cooking outside, Congo

1960 Mr Paul saying goodbye to Congo

1960, anthill, Congo

1960 park lion, Congo

1960 school class, Congo

1960_Congo Uganda Sudan tricountry point with Pete Stam

1960 VW van, Congo

1960, July, Congo Independence from Belgium

1960 Vive Le Kongo Independant

1960 Congo demonstration

1960 Congo practicing independence

1960 Congo practicing the national anthem

1960 Goodbye to the old boss

1960 Hello to the new boss

1960, Dec, UN ministers visit

1960, Dec, UN troops, Congo

1960, Dec, UN troops, Congo

1960 UN & police without weapons due to dispute with army, Aru, Congo

1960 UN Cargo Plane, Blackburn B-101 Beverley C1

1960 trip to AIM hospital in Kuluva, Arua, Uganda

1960 Uganda, and then there were three

1960 our house in Uganda

1960 Jaap born in Uganda

1960 Kuluva, Uganda

1960 bananas in Kuluva, Uganda

1960 picknick, Uganda

1960 Back to Aru, Congo

1961, Sept, Congo Aungba

Carl Becker's biography, Bunia, Congo, see below

Carl Becker's biography, Bunia, Congo, see also below

1961 pygmies in the Ituri forest

1961 Dr Becker with pygmies in the Ituri forest

1961 pygmies in the Ituri forest

1961, Sept, Congo Aungba

1961, Sept, Congo Aungba

1961 Evacuation to Kenya

1961 AIM church foundation ceremony in Litein, Kenya

1961 African huts, Litein, Kenya

1961 Church Litein, Kenya

1961 Bwana Joop teaching in Litein, Kenya

1961 cistern, Litein, Kenya

1961, Febr, Mom in Litein, Kenya

1961 pineapple, Litein, Kenya

1961 Washing & wringing, Litein, Kenya

1961 Kenya park

1961 Kenya park

1961 Kenya park

1961 Kenya park

1961 Kenya park

1961 School in Litein, Kenya

1961 Joop & Mieke and kids

late 1961 Back to Aungba in Congo, to test the 'peace'

1961 on the way back to Congo after the riots

1961 Uganda Equator

1961 Lake Victoria with Carol at Kisumu, Uganda

1961 Lake Victoria with Carol at Kisumu, Uganda

1962 Congo Aungba

1962 diploma ceremony Aungba, Congo

1962 Evelyn teaching Class, Aungba, Congo

1962 Muriel teaching Class, Aungba, Congo

1962 our house in Aungba Congo

1962 Jaap bevriendt een neushoorn (rhino)

1962 Rukema's class, Augnba, Congo

1962 teacher school in Aungba, Congo

1962 teacher school in Aungba, Congo

1962 Art Project with flanel, Congo

1962 Congo

1962 Jeannette born in AIM mission hospital in Kuluva, Uganda, across the border

1962 Jeannette born in Uganda, pearl of Africa

1962 DC3 East African Airlines back to Holland

KENIA 1964-1965

After the Congo period from 1959 to 1962, interrupted by several emergency evacuations to Uganda under auspicion of the UN, it was not deemed safe to go back with terrorism flaring under the utterly destructive Simba rebellion, so Joop and Mieke went to Kenia in 1964. In mountanous Kapsowar, north of Eldoret, the work was not unlike Congo: teaching at and administering local schools, and speaking in Swahili this time. The eldest two went to Hill School in Eldoret, a school managed by the British even after independence in 1964, until the Kenians were ready to take over. We did not enjoy being away from home, but getting a 'dinky toy' as present every time helped take the rough edge off it.


Here also, Joop drove a split-screen VW van, which as a 2-wheel drive would slip and slide up the wet slopes of the escarpment roads during rainy season and give us kids frightening views (and dreams) of the dark depths lurking beyond a small man-made ridge on the lower side of the road (i have vivid memories of Joop rocking back and forth behind the wheel to push the VW up just a little further). A useful symbiotic relationship developed between Joop needing people to push the VW during rainy season and those needing to go to town in the valley, for free. While at Hill School we stayed with fellow missionary dorm parents, Jack and Peggy Pienaar, who oversaw 14 children, 5 of their own. To make up for school's indignations, we delighted in the farm animals: there were chickens, turkeys, and a baby monkey, which if picked up, would latch on and not let go (especially during dinner call). Once, the parakeets flew away, but we lured them back with some seed and the old box-and-a-stick-trick. I remember three baby turkey chicks being raised in a glass container with heat lamps (outside the war-like hawks patrolled). At Hill School, our outfit was quite spectacular: blazer and bowler hat, complete with tie and khaki shorts. The daily half-hour compulsory rest period at school would do much to de-stress our corporate world today, not to mention an occasional licking with the 'tekkie' (a flexible shoe) for repeat offenders (like my older brother).

Kapsowar was on the route of the famed East African Safari, which came right by the village. These cars made it up the mountains without a push, as did the Landrovers with their amazing winches (we did not yet know what could happen, as in the movie 'The gods must be crazy'). Even then, the rally-crazy Finns were ahead in their Saabs and Volvos. The race was later discontinued when shady characters would put logs in the way of oncoming rally cars, demanding tribute for their removal. While these types may have eventually ended up in respectable African politics, the East African Safari was gone forever

At home in Kapsowar my folks employed several servants to boost the local economy, in more ways than one: one of the servants ran off with our ‘silver’ (this also happened in the dorm in Eldoret). Who knows, it may have been Obama's grandfather (who is said to have worked for Christian missionaries in western Kenia). One day, our trusted cook Samuel asked me (a six-year old), in deference I suppose, which chicken he should kill for dinner. I pointed to our fine rooster.

1963 On furlough, back to Kenya in 1964

1964 Kenya lion

1964 Kenya giraffe

1964 Kenya impala

1964 Rethy (Congo) MK School get together in Kenya

1964 cooking class, Kenya

1964 Kapsowar wedding, Kenya, complete stranger on the left

1964 Kapsowar wedding, Kenya, note steep hills, el. over 9000 ft

1964 Kapsowar wedding, Kenya, with a bridal LandRover

1964 from Nairobi to Eldoret

1965 Hill School emblem, Eldoret, Kenya

1965 Hill School uniforms at boarding school, Eldoret, Kenya

1965 with Hill School dorm mates Jonny Pienaar & John Alloway

1965 Hostel mates: Kathy, Jonny, Beth & Tim Pienaar, Rosemary McClure, Andrew, Kevin & Hillary McMinn, John, Philip &Alison Alloway

1965 with Hill School dorm mates Pienaars, Kevin McMinn, John Alloway

1965 back of the house in Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 Jaap Jeannette & Hans in Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 John David Progress Prize Dec '65, Hill School

1965 Chebara Highschool Soccer Team, Kenya

1965 Chebara highschool principal Joop, with bibles from the MULO Doesburg

1965 Eldoret GZB Peter Stam visit, at Jaap Tichelaar's, at left

1965 hut in Kenya

1965 Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 grand view from Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 fine view from Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 calving in Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 chores, Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 Kapsowar, elder Job and his wife, Kenya

1965 Kenia, Kapsowar, East African Safari

1965 Kenia, Kapsowar, East African Safari

1965 Kenia, Kapsowar, East African Safari

1965 end of school celebration, Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 Kapsowar friends

1965 Masai in Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 steep mountain descent from Kapsowar to river, Kenya

1965 visiting missionary ladies in Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 water pump in river, at Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 river in valley at Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 Samuel in Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 sportsday in Kapsowar, Kenya

1965 Kenya missionaries

1965 Dr Findlay Kapsowar

1965 Sportsday, Kenya

1965 teachers and AIM elders, Kapsowar, Kenya

1965, Dec 12, going home, where the heart (also) lies

Books by or about the AIM and other missions

Buy online

"Another Hand on Mine" the story about Dr Carl K. Becker of the Africa Inland Mission, by William J. Petersen Publ. by McGrawHill 1967 / Zondervan edition 1970 Online read of Carl Becker's biography, by Peterson 'Another Hand on Mine'

Impressive online read of the 1921 true story of the Scandinavian Flood and Erickson families in East Belgian-Congo, by Aggie Hurst (1986)

"Central Africa Revisited: a 16,000 Mile Tour Throughout the Fields of the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, Congo, Sudan and Egypt" by by Miller, Daniel Morrison, Publ. by Africa Inland Mission, London, 1938

"Seeking Kenya's Treasures: The Life of Charles F. Johnston, Pioneer Missionary of the Africa Inland Mission" by Nystrom, Gertude Hill Publ. by Zondervan 1942

"Garden of Miracles" (the story of AIM) by Kenneth Richardson Publ. by Africa Inland Mission London 1968

"Faster beats the Drum" by Gladys Stauffacher Publ. by Africa Inland Mission 1977, foreword by Ed Arensen

"Change, my thirty-five years in Africa" by Pete Brashler, ISBN-13: 9780842302203, Publ. by Tyndale House Publishers 1979

"Called to Africa: Thirty-Five Years in Central Africa" by Chester Scott, ISBN-13: 9780874832976, Publ. by August House Publishers 1993

"We felt like grasshoppers" by Dick Anderson (Dr. RJD Anderson) Publ. by Crossway Books Nottingham 1994 (foreword by George Verwer)

Related books:

"Drums in the Darkness" by John T. Tucker, a pioneer missionary in Angola around 1880 Publ. United Church of Canada

"Angola Beloved" by Ernest T. Wilson, a pioneer missionary in pre-mechanised days in Angola around 1900 Publ. by Loizeaux brothers, Inc, 1967, ISBN 0-87213-961-1

'Travels in Africa' by Rev. John Campbell at the request of Africa Missionary Society, 1815

"Out of Assa, the heart of Africa" by Glenn W Geelhoed MD, on medical relief in rebel-torn Congo (Zaire) Publ. Three Hawks Publ LC 1998

Available as used books online

Goodreads: other African missionary books

Other popular African book reads of the colonial period:

Belgium and the Congo, 1885-1980 - Guy Vanthemsche (Eng)

Congo - De impact van de kolonie op Belgie - Guy Vanthemsche (Dutch)

(about the benefical influence of Belgium on Congo's economic dev't)

East-Africa books / sites

Spectacular East-African 'Trains, Planes, Ships, and Automobiles' site

Hunting Stories

African Hunting Stories here

view from Kapsowar

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