Sunday, November 27, 2005

On the march

On Friday, there was a march organized by UNICEF to call for ending violence against women in the Congo, and rape in particular. The route went from just outside our office to the Stadium of Victory, about a mile and a half. Under the searing sun, I walked with some of the stronger patients at the hospital and, I'd estimate, about 30,000 women who had dressed in all black for the occasion. It was an opportunity to film in town, which we don't do that much because of the hassles that ensue. Due to the march, it seems the police had their hands full, or there was a sense that what we were doing was appropriate and not worthy of a shake-down. A wild scene-- the students here are incredibly rowdy and I saw a couple of fights when motorbike drivers tried to cut the parade route and were beaten by the marchers... a contemptuous military funeral convoy also drove through, flatbed trucks piled high with furious guys who pointed their RPGs and machine guns at everyone-- I could imagine the massacre happening, and was scared (needlessly-- why would they shoot us?). But we filmed it. It was a day, it was a day.

The other highlight of last week was when we asked the MONUC if we could film one of their regular patrols through town. Major Navdeep of the mechanized infantry said that there weren't any that day, but that he could fix a little something up for us. Which turned out to be a fleet of tanks, jeeps, a couple platoons of Indian and Congolese soldiers, and a helicopter overflight-- all just for us. Nelson seemed small with the camera in the middle of all that... later we found ourselves eating curry and watching Fashion TV's "Midnight Hot" with 10th Bihar's officers in their (plush) mess.

I guess they know the best way to use their money. I wish I knew how to play basketball so I could play them on their court that overlooks the attack helicopter hangar, though.

0 purrs/hisses:

Post a Comment

<< Home