Thursday, October 21, 2004

Karibu, welcome to Goma

We are in Goma, where it is the year 2004. Call us here at 243 0 81 73 74 305, my french cell phone which I fixed up to work here. Maybe leave off the first 0, and I'm sure it will be very expensive.

Here in Goma, Congo, the one thing everyone is talking about is Red Sox, Red Sox, Red Sox! Sadly, no, but people are talking about the american election. Everyone loves George Bush because the Democrats are seen as supporters of Rwanda.

We got here after driving from Kigali, through the northwestern part of the country and its thousand hills. Every foot of the red earth is cultivated in small plots, creeping up the steepest slope where you couldn't imagine anyone would be able to swing a hoe. There was less forest cover that I expected. As we approached Congo the volcanoes appeared. They are massive, imposing, active and darken at the upper slopes which disappear into cloud. Nyirango, which destroyed Goma a couple of years ago, is not due to erupt for awhile, and we want to go hike it.

It was quite a trip. Saw my first grenade launcher. Rwandan soldiers are non-threatening and somewhat professional, unlike their counterparts here. But we have fixers and guides and nothing is a problem. People here at DOCS are amazing.

We are lucky to have incredibly luxurious accomadations at Lyn And Jo's. It's just us and some Dutch engineers and the kivu lakefront... Goma bears heavy scars but seems calm, and business is back. Four competing cell phone companies. We've been touring around, meeting people from NGO's and talking about the projects we are going to do for DOCS. My french has been very useful, but many people here speak four languages or more, French, Swahili, Lingala, Kinyarwanda... hoping to work on the Swahili as it seems extremely useful.

It's been a long two days, and we have a lot of work to do...

1 purrs/hisses:

At 3:13 PM, Blogger finatron said...

dear lois ablehomme , apparently ari broke his foot cheering the red sox to victory, have you thought about calling hollertronix up and having them spin at a congolese d 4 d party to inform them whats really real? will send karthic pronto, hearts fina

 

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