Monday, June 29, 2009

Back from another field trip. 2/2

Sunday 530am: alarm goes off. Actually it was a goat standing right next to my window. Start of day number 2. We had no breakfast, but we were able to arrange some tea and (instant) coffee.

While we were on our way to a hospital we saw hundreds of people standing nearby the place we had a talk with IDPs the day before. There were literally hundreds of people (take of 30% of people that passed by and are just curious) seemingly waiting for something. We got out to see what was going on. Accident? Church? They were there ... for us.

All these people live in the small huts that can be seen on the picture above. Yes, tens of people crammed into these small wooden huts. We talked with many of them; first with the women, then with the children, then with the men. We asked: Where they came from, what happened, and most important: What we can we do for them. After about two hours we continued to the hospital.

RRM distributed several tens of jerry cans and several tens of disinfection devices for the cholera treatment centre. We first visited the cholera treatment center. Also, we talked with MSF-Spain. Whether everything had arrived, whether it is used properly, etc. After that, Stefan, Susan and I had an additional drive through town to visit some friends of Stefan from ACF (Action Against Hunger); three expats that were based in Buyakiri already for months. Early in the afternoon we left Buyakiri for Kalehe. Reason: visit an IDP camp (i.e. IDPs that are not taken up by host families).

IDP camp.
We drover about 4 hours to get to the IDP camp. Susan shot her pictures, and Stefan, Tracy and I talked with the villagers to ask about the situation (humanitarian, security, etc), and ask what their main priorities were regarding needs.

After another 3 hours - just before nightfall - we arrived back home in Bukavu. We were broken, but all had very good about a great weekend. A short field trip, but I am very impressed by the work of Stefan and RRM, and the resiliance of the people here in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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