Gorillas in the Mist and other adventures


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Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » East » Goma
March 11th 2012
Published: March 11th 2012
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Murrays travel schedule kicked off again in February. As you know, he loves to write about it, not! So bear with me while I try to document his trip.



His first trip was to North & South Kivu in DRC for a final evaluation of the WASH program there. One of the highlights was seeing a gravity fed water scheme under construction, the women from the village were so happy that they would spontaneously break into song and dance. Another highlight was seeing positive results from a Sanitation and Hygiene program in Tongo. In January, 42 people died from 1 village. The people thought it was witchcraft, a study showed it was a malaria and cholera outbreak. Our organisation did an emergency intervention together with another agency. They set up a medical clinic to treat the diseases, and we set up an education and awareness campaign. This trip Murray visited the village, they were hugely grateful for the work done and were now confident they could prevent these diseases.



At the end of Murrays Congo visit he had an opportunity to go trekking in Virngu National Park to see the Gorillas. The Congo side of the mountain range is not as popular with tourists as Rwanda and Uganada, Murray only had one other person in his tour party. To get there Murray had to drive past 2 erupting volcanoes, and then trek through the rain forest for 30mins, to spend 1 hr with these endangered species. Murray was buzzing when he got back from his trip. The weather was far from ideal, but it seems the Mist added to the experience. Murray describes it as “very personal”. “You step into their house, you’re that close, up close and personal, it was a very intense experience, the gorillas were only 2-3m away”. He spent time with a family of 8, 6 adults and 2 children. They had to wear masks, to prevent the gorillas from contracting any human diseases.



A quick turn around and Murray was in Germany for a few days. The Meeting was about a global WASH project funded by European Union. He stayed in a small town near Bonn, on the banks of the Rhine. We don’t see much water in Nairobi and he “enjoyed walking around the banks of the Rhine, and watching the ships go up and down”.



Another quick turn around, back to the airport now to Juba, South Sudan. To be a guest speaker for a workshop for staff and partner organisations. Southern Sudan is now an independent country, and Juba “feels like a gold rush town, there is a construction boom, and new businesses are starting up everywhere”. Murray enjoyed seeing the growth in the team as well. 4 years ago he hired the first senior staff on the WASH team, and now there is over 30 senior staff.



After a hectic month of travel, Murrays schedule should slow down for the rest of the year, as the project comes to an end.



In Kenya, the girls and I are doing fine. I am still “working” a few days here and there. Charlotte & Hayley are enjoying school. Charlotte is reading, and Hayley is not kicking anyone anymore. Emma is doing well, she really enjoys her food and is a star at feeding herself. Nairobi’s security situation is still on the high side, with yet another grenade attack on a bus station yesterday. And with 25,000 Nurses who were striking sacked, you get a little more concerned when these attacks happen. Please continue to pray for Kenya.



Love,

Miriam


Additional photos below
Photos: 28, Displayed: 24


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12th March 2012

King Kong
Murray is very blessed to have you as his personal secretary Miriam! Sounds like a totally amazing time.
13th March 2012

Love your photo's of the kids ( must be one you guys can use for your wall series :-)
13th March 2012

Great photos!
Amazing photos guys! To get so close to the Gorillas must have been quite an experience.
13th March 2012

Thanks for keeping us up to-date. Murry is certainly having a busy and interesting time. Pitty you couldn't live somewhere a bit safer. I am doing ok slowly getting better. Love Robert.
15th March 2012

Beautiful photos!
There are so many wonderful images in this blog, I am unsure which one to pause at and admire for longer!
16th March 2012
Baby Gorilla

Wow, amazing how crisp this shot is and so cute.

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