Monday, August 3, 2009

Penultimate post.

[This post was written yesterday while on the plane from Amsterdam to NYC].

Ok, and I know, it is quite an abrupt end to two months of blogging on the DRC. But, I don't think it will be the end of me and the DRC (and certainly not me working on Africa).

Going back to the Congo.
Why? Well, I think the country, its people and its problems are fascinating. I am sure that there is much to write about for a great dissertation (see my next and final post). Simon and I are not even close to finished with our work; it is likely that one or two more visits are necessary (also for La Voix des Kivus). Also, Macartan 'bought me out' as his RA; I therefore do not have to teach upcoming semester, giving me some freedom to travel. In other words, I'll be heading back to the Congo and its continent; and I am already looking forward.

What a f*cked up world.
Over the last two months I was in the east of the Congo; a region plagued by poverty and violence. Let's put it like this: I have seen my fair amount of shit during that period. Several hours ago I boarded the KLM plane from Amsterdam to NYC, and I was told that my seat was upgraded. At the moment I have a seat in the World Business Class; that is, the second floor in those Boeing 747s. I am sitting next to people that probably paid thousands and thousands of dollars for their seat. My leg space is that of the economy class, but then times 8. I can choose from a collection of champagnes and wines specially selected for us by KLM's experts. There are 12 buttons I can push to electronically change the position of my chair. We are only airbore since 1 hour, but the lady already asked me 9 times whether I want something. The chair is also a massage chair. And I can keep on going like this. F*ck! The day before yesterday, I was in a country where by far the largest majority of its people live below the povertyline, where women are afraid to go to their fields to works because they will get raped, etc. The day before yesterday I visited Jean Pierre; a guy that has worked 6 years straight (no holiday because you get fired) and received no raise in those six years (if you ask for it you get fired) and he gets $150 a month. He has to support his family of 4 children. Let me not start how expensive Bukavu is, the schooling fees he has to pay to get his children to school, etc. It's a f*cked up world!!

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