I was planning a trip to Kole (situated in the middle of the country) to visit some partners. I mean, it's been close to 6 months that I've been in Congo and I still haven't been able to get there. Some of the reasons are:
-I had just arrived and needed some time to adjust to the project
-we suddenly had to work intensely on an HIV/AIDS grant
-we had to rush to Luiza to prepare the health offices before our donor came to visit to area
-we suddenly had to work intensely on a Malaria grant
-the 30th of June and feared civil unrest was looming close
It's just bad luck.
I was all set to go to Kole today when my travel agent comes to the office to announce that the Congolese Ministry of Transportation banned all flights using Anatanov flights inside the country for an undertermined length of time.
Antanov aircrafts are old rusted shells of airplanes from Eastern Europe that have been refurnished and used since the 1960s. Rumors are that they are barely held together by duct tapes and it's a miracle everytime they take off and land safely. If you do a google search for Antanov and Congo, you'll come up with searches that tell of their many crashes.
The first thought that came to my mind about the ban was "Well it's about G**Damned time!". Then the second thought was "Why oh why am I so unlucky with this planned trip?".
I am currently adding on my résumé: "Amazing ability to adjust to local resource-limited settings".