Blogs from South, Congo Democratic Republic, Africa


Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Mokambo November 29th 2013

Any country with "Democratic" in its name is bound to be dodgy as hell. As I crossed the Luapula River towards the DRC border post, I was expecting to be well and truly worked over by the border officials for as much money as possible. The chief of the post ended up being a relatively friendly guy, but wouldn't budge from his demand of $50 for the transit stamp. Paul who had suggested that I take this road had also been stung for this amount, so after a while I relented and paid up. But he was then insistent on a "souvenir" from me, so I offered him a photo from the portable printer. This worked well because I got a photo in his awesome cave of an office, and he was placated. A dollar to ... read more
Head immigration guy
The Pedicle road
Termite mound and village

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Lubumbashi March 30th 2011

“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.” – Steinbeck Everyone I had met or read about told me that crossing the 2500km route southbound through the DRC would be either too dangerous, due to regional conflict and corrupt officials, or simply impossible, due to bad roads and lack of vehicles. Walking came to mind as a possible solution to the latter problem, but then I met a military major who had walked the entire route from Lubumbashi to Kinshasa (at the time Mobutu was chased from power); It had taken him seven months. In order to cross the country in time with my one-month visa, I would either need a miracle, or a flight (southbound via Angola was ruled out after a quick glance at their visa procedure). Needless to say flying ... read more
come on MSF, you can do it
MSF, down for the count

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Likasi May 2nd 2010

Just a clarification from my last entry’s title ... “This Must Be Just Like Living in Paradise (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” ... it’s a song that we listen to almost every morning in the office. It doesn’t mean that I actually “don’t wanna go home” although I do have mixed emotions on the subject. With that aside ... here we go... It’s been 2 weeks since we returned from the reunion in Zambia and landed back in the DRC running. Erick got malaria while we were in Zambia and was extremely sick for a week after ... a week that we were hosting a visitor and friend to Hands, Bernard from Germany. Overall the visit was a huge success but after getting very little sleep during the reunion I was not ready to “host” ... read more
Main Street Kapolowe
Tall Grass
Welcome to Kimboye

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Likasi April 5th 2010

Early this year Ken Mwanza and I made the trip from Luanshya, Zambia to Likasi, DRC. On a map the distance between these 2 locations looks like nothing but a nice Sunday drive through central Africa ... however ... in reality it could easily be a 2 day journey. A combination of terrible roads and bureaucratic garbage (so common to the Congo) make this expedition an interesting one. It’s been 3 months since we entered the country and we’ve become accustomed to the Congolese way of life and ... have even started to enjoy it. On Tuesday, April the 13th we will leave this country we’ve struggled to become fond of and will enter back into Zambia for a 4 day conference. Excitement is building as the reunion with long lost friends and family grows closer ... read more

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Likasi March 22nd 2010

Wednesday was a tough day ... Erick, James, and Lynn met with Esperance to discuss our future connection with them. This had been an issue long before I arrived in the DRC ... it had been a constant power struggle with the leaders of Esperance ... and because we discovered they were stealing money they’d been backed into a corner and we found something else ... there had been zero home visits in the 4 communities here in Likasi and the feeding points had been almost useless. We then “took over” Toyota and made sure the feeding point was being run correctly and home visits started happening. In December Erick took me to the community of Shituru to see Leontine for the first time ... I couldn’t even say anything. No child should have to go ... read more

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Lubumbashi March 17th 2010

As I have explained ... Lynn and James are here visiting the DRG currently ... bringing encouragement while we show them the communities we are working in and the communities we are moving to. With every visit from Zambia ... comes ... a trip to Lubumbashi. And with the vehicle being so important this week ... we elected not to take it on our journey to gather our visitors from Zambia. This can only mean one thing ... public transit to ... AND from ... Lubumbashi. There is always a good side to travelling with public transit ... and that is ... the stories. I hope you laugh ... because I always do. Early Monday morning I wake to my alarm ... it seems fitting that I use the “Snoopy theme song” from Charlie Brown ... ... read more

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Likasi March 17th 2010

Something that hit me pretty hard recently: Last Sunday afternoon I was doing what I do most Sunday afternoons ... relaxing ... reading ... listening to music ... trying to prepare for the week ahead. I decided that my emails needed checking and started the decent to the office. It’s a well known fact here that if my computer is plugged into one of the outlets in the office all of our power cuts ... I stay away from that outlet ... usually. Sunday I had different plans ... like I said in my last entry that injection must have taken some of my memory ... because I went right ahead and plugged my computer into the “forbidden outlet”. Surprise surprise ... power cut ... however this time it was a bit more serious ... we ... read more

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Likasi February 24th 2010

I would like to start by saying ... when I first came here to Likasi ... it wasn’t listed as a location on ... now it is ... I’ve got some pull. I last left you to prepare for our Toyota church leader’s training ... our first meeting with the pastors of Toyota was almost 2 weeks ago now and we’ve had 3 meetings since ... our 4th and final is this Saturday the 27th of February ... where we will present those in attendance with big certificates ... that have taken me almost a week of preparation. Other than the certificates the training has gone AMAZING! All the pastors have been super interested and receptive of what we/mostly Erick has to say ... and once again ... they are all from different churches and ... read more

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South February 9th 2010

It's been one week since Ken arrived in Likasi and already he has brought some new ideas / viewpoints to the table ... most recently ... we were discussing a meeting of church leaders in Toyota and Erick realised we would need "meals" to feed them mid-day ... Ken immediately shed his light on the situation ... "Meals? As in food? ... Please, from now on when reffering to meals can we use the word 'food'? It makes more sense to me." Just a little insight into Ken's way of thinking. You're Welcome. Anyway ... I’m back on the real topic ... latest developments in the DRG: On our first visit to the Toyota school we noticed that the benches the children use to sit on were in pretty rough shape ... benches that Erick had ... read more
The Prototype
Ken the Karpenter

Africa » Congo Democratic Republic » South » Lubumbashi February 3rd 2010

OOOOOOOOOK Trip to Lubumbashi yesterday ... Where to start? The beginning ... obvious. The night of February 1st 2010 ... just finished a delightful conversation with my younger brother Thom ... set my alarm for 5:00am ... it’s after 11 when I finally put my head on the pillow. Wake up to the alarm ... what seems like seconds later ... snoooooze button saves lives ... or at least mornings. Finally drag myself out of my small bed ... with an outlet under it ... at about 5:30 ... make coffee ... spray on deodorant ... brush the teeth ... find a relatively clean shirt ... organize documents for travel ... and we’re off. As we begin our walk towards the bus stop the rain also decides to begin ... we duck into our favourite shop ... read more

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