Saturday, April 11, 2009
Update April 13, 2009
So we are in DRC and it is pouring rain, lightening and yet so silent...and today could not have been a more beautiful day. We went about 45 minutes over the hill to the river and danced with some locals-shared a coca cola and chased a goat! This is Pweto, one of the main areas where the refugees return to, it is mind blowing- beautiful. I woke-up this morning to sunshine, blue skies and one of the clearest views of the lake. Talk about change in weather-
Tomorrow is Sunday (well today is...it's almost 1 am) most of the markets and shops in town will be closed which will prove difficult for our endeavors of finding subjects and interviews. While we were in Kala we spoke with a few refugees who have family here (that returned last year) and made a promise to them that we would visit them. So we will stray from shops and town and make rounds in the villages.
Today we met a woman from the states who works with the organization IVT. IVT desensitizes victims of rape and torture (refugees and IDP's). She was helpful and is eager to assist us with an interview or two. It was odd for her (and us) to see one another in 'Pweto, DRC' as you really don't see many "Mzungu's" around...Pweto just got electricity and running water last June, 2008.
Interesting info we learned today....there is a mansion that is being built about 20 kilometers away from the shanty town of Pweto, it has been said that it will be worth 7 million dollars once complete. This 'mansion' is being built by the government-for the government (DRC). Ironic. It is near a small air strip...hmmm?
Thursday we will leave for Moba. Moba is north east of Pweto, another returnee area. There are no longer NGO's that make the trip to Moba because the bridge (one way in, one way out) that you take to get there collapsed. We are fortunate to go with MAG as they travel in convoys (minimum of 3 Land Cruisers) and they bring their own logs/ropes to suffice for a bridge. Last trip one of the trucks got stuck and it took two others (6 hours later) to pull it out. Ya- wish us luck!
Moba territory is one of the largest returnee areas. Surrounding Moba are areas we will also visit are: Fube, Pepa and Mpala. It is very important that we make it to all of these 'towns' as there are few ngo's operating in the territory and therefore little if any information on the land, job opportunities, security, education, health etc...If we can document what IS there, operating etc. and get this info back to the refugees in Kala and Mwange camps it will be the first. They need to know what is there and, what isn't there. No one is providing this information.
Marisa and I will take an ECHO flight from Moba to Lubumbashi end of May. We will stay in Lubumbashi for a few days before we depart for Joburg, South Africa. There we will spend about two weeks, editing. (I feel like I keep repeating this).....?
Well maybe that is a sign that I get some rest now ;)