December 09, 2005
(6) Mr. Potato Head
We took advantage of a potato farmer and bought his entire stock of potatoes. Agriculture is not diversified at all (the major crops are by far manioc, rice and corn) so when you see something different, you better take advantage of it.
(7) Pushing Tin
We only had to push the car four times--which is not bad considering the van was woefully inadequate for field driving. And when I say we, I mean the men. I politely stayed out of their way.
As we got to our destination, every village welcomed us with brightly colored wreath, songs and drugs beats (the typical drum there is flat and elongated). I suspect a good bit of PR work was done prior to our arrival.
(9) School in Vango
We arrived to Vango, which is about 7 kilometers from our destination, just before the river. This school teaches latin (!), french, math, geography etc... It is completely isolated yet the wealthiest villagers send their kids there. The dormatories house about 23 girls and 25 boys. This was an old convent in 1960 when Belgian people lived in the area. There are now no foreigners within 250km and the building is falling in serious disrepair.
(10) Crossing the River
Try as we might, there would be no way to get the car from Vango to Lomela--because a river runs between them. We left the car in someone's yard, loaded the pirogues and got to the other side where a whole congration of people we waiting for us. Surprisingly enough, the pirogues were sturdy enough to carry all the motorcycles across too.