Thursday, September 15, 2011

the congo river

This morning there was a political rally outside our hotel so we thought it would be a good idea to go out for lunch a little further away. We went to "Chez Tintin", a little patio on a patch of grass on the congo river. We drank primus and ate our daily ration of roasted chicken with plantains and fries. there is this amazing view on the congo river that is as beautiful as it is troubling.

The river at this point is a series of massive rapids, waves 30 feet high, fast rushing brown water. On the river banks, which are now quite larger from the dry season is a strange mix of Congolese. On the one hand there’s the people from the shanty town who are washing their clothes or bathing in one of the pools, or the family rock mining activity- multiple generations, from 6 years old to grandma slowly hitting at rocks, carrying them away on their heads to sell on the road. And then the more well off people from kinshasa taking a stroll with their girlfriends and taking pictures on their cameras, and then us, the mondeles. The sound of the rushing water are almost overwhelmed by the clinking of the rock hammers – all of which are smothered in garbage. Burned aerosol cans, plastic bottles, flip flops and medical waste. It stinks. And this is the Kinshasa waterfront. 20 years ago this was the place to be.
i also made some new friends.
carrying rocks

team vodacom