Sunday, February 5, 2012

Random pics 6/6

There is too much to tell and too little time - I'm leaving tomorrow morning again for the field. So hereby a lot of random pictures with brief notes.

We stayed at the house of the chief of Cibandja for six days. There were too few utensils and pots, so hands and plates it was. For our team of four we give $15 per evening to the chief's wife, who then prepares food for the evening: often a subset of foufou, beans, fish (from Lake Kivu), sambaza (small fish from Lake Kivu), bananas and rice. During the day we - once in a while - buy Kasigsi (local banana liquor).

A workday starts around 630am (sun comes up at 6am). Before starting the village mapping we discuss the best way to visit all the households. Also an aide of the chief and a displaced person is allocated to each of my team members. The aide of the chief is necessary because it indicates the chief's approval of our presence. The displaced person is necessary to make sure that the (native) aide of the chief does not 'by accident' forget to pass by displaced households - lists are seen here as distribution (NGOs that distribute in these areas often first make a list) and we want to avoid capture by the local leaders in any way possible.

Story. My first night in Cibandja. House of the chief where we slept on the dirt floor. No problem. We had 2 mattresses with us. Place some straw and a plastic sheet below it and you sleep like a king. Not that first night. It started raining hard, which I normally enjoy to fall asleep. Here however it means that animals go inside: including rats. I had animals run over me before while asleep (often chickens), but this night was different. A rat fall from a wood beam (to keep the house and roof together) two meters down right on top of me. While I was sleeping. I was wide awake that night listening to the noise of the rats. Lovely. Even my bottle of whisky didn't help.

And another picture for all the women out there that read this blog. Aahh!

This is very common. Villagers work hard to get a dirt road flat so that cars can reach the village. A few good nights of rain and you can start all over again.

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