Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 29/30

KALEMIE, Democratic Republic of Congo
Tuesday- day 38
June 7, 2011

Well we arrived in Kalemie yesterday morning around 445am. Because the port authorities (i.e., customs border agents) don’t open until 7am, we ‘floated around the harbor’ for a couple of hours along with the rest of the boats… got to see a beautiful sunrise! Once through the chaos of literally hopping over one boat to get to land with the help of our friend ‘Pisco’ we made it. Directly from the port our dear friend Chris found us a house to rent- two story; lovely really- and we settled in…more or less. In much need of some food and rest after a long journey we set out in search of some food (even skipping showers!). From there we made our way into town, contacted a few colleagues and went to the beach for some R&R. That of course turned into a nice swim in lake Tanganika and the joy of watching the sunset. We were READY for showers and bed by 730pm and well on our way until….we were interrupted by a loud continuous bang on our large metal security door. Before opening we asked who it was (both in French and Swahili) the man answered, “I am the guard” (it’s common to have a day and night guard on duty 24 hours a day- 7 days a week). However, since we were not informed that there was a fully employed guard we were hesitant to open the door….called the landlord who’s phone was off then Chris who immediately came over to check out the situation (he too was unaware of the guard). During all of this chaos we were distracted by loud and noises coming from our new neighbors who were quite obviously, performing some type of witchcraft or ‘medicine’ on a young man. This of course added to our confusion, security and fear of not being able to have a good night-much needed- rest. I called our friend Pisco who came to our rescue and agreed to work as our guard for the week. He’s a young man out of work and very pleasant (and laughs at my continuous efforts to speak Swahili!).

Today we were ‘scheduled’ to go on a field visit to one of the 5 IDP camps in the area but that of course fell through and- we have not had any electricity since late last night so….I’m running on fumes with my computer here. We organized all of our registration papers for The REEL Project instead (which needed to be done) and confirmed our flight out of Kalemie to Goma for next Monday. Furthermore, we have made arrangements to depart early tomorrow morning for a field visit to one of the largest IDP camps a little over 60 kilometers out of Kalemie.
Ok, before I am kicked out of battery life here I’m going to keep this short and attempt to post a couple photos…until next time.
Karibu sana

Went to two different IDP camps today and just got back. Toooooo exhausted to relive the experience now however, will try to send an update after another visit tomorrow; with pics. Obviously- wasn't able to send the previous post yesterday due to an electricity outage but nonetheless...

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