Farm and River Trip

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Africa » Congo » West » Point Noire
May 7th 2014
Published: May 7th 2014
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Pigs, chickens, rabbits, wedding flowers, fish farming, soybeans, banana, mango, and passion fruit, and irrigation are some of the things I saw when I visited a farm about an hour from Point Noir. The farmer is a medical doctor, formerly with Doctors Without Borders. He last served in Rwanda. Several of the other doctors he worked with there were killed. He was wounded in an explosion while driving an ambulance. After his recovery he felt he needed to live a quiet life, but one that involved physical work. He moved to his home country and began farming. He has taught others farming skills.

I went to this place with six other crew members. I was on the gangway as they were leaving the ship. I was invited to go since they had room for one more. After negotiating for a taxi we were on our way.

The farm was well cared for and peaceful. The family lived in what would look to us like sheds. They were three in all about the size of an average room. There was a family dog, who ate the food scraps. Bottles are recycled, and paper waste was buried.

After visiting the farm, there were a series of delays before going on a boat up river which was to be part of our trip. We were transported by car in two groups. The 5 minute ride was more like fifteen. And then another trip was made to get the motor and another for chairs, etc. To make a long story short, an hour and a half later we were on the river. We slowly traveled for about 45 minutes on the river until we reached a lake. The sun was hot but the breeze made it bearable. Fortunately, the motor worked well because I noticed there were no oars.

One of the crew members spoke French and acted as our translator. Since the names of wildlife and the river were given in French, I don’t recall them. But we saw an iguana, a water snake, birds, and fishermen in dugout canoes.

After the boat trip, we were brought back to the farm for an African meal cooked by the Doctor’s wife. We ate at a table under a shelter that had a wooden A-frame roof. Hanging were blue and white pictures of soccer players, Mary (mother of Jesus), and Bob Marley. The only part I recognized was the grilled fish and passion fruit Fanta. There was some kind of boiled grain and leafy green side dishes.


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