July 06, 2006

June 22nd 2006

The trip back is long and hard as usual. Along the way, we manage to pick up two small antelopes and one large one with a freshly bloodied trachea. The driver puts them directly on top of our suitcases.

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Along the way, we stop to give way to an old Russian truck and meet a cute little baby called Angel. I coo and awww and tickle her, when the dad asks me what I can do about her "condition". She has a frothy, black paste on her toes which turns out to be "la gale". One of the doctors explains how to treat this with local plants and general hygiene, and donates one of her medicated soaps. She also adds that these pimples are highly contagious. I wipe my hands on my jeans, praying that I haven't caught the disease.

We run into the woman who sheltered us on our last trip, and I hand her two dishes, which I bought in Kinshasa for the occasion. She hands me a little chicken, bound by its toes that I delicately accept and hand to the driver to store. He unceremoniously jams it under his seat.

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We cross the river on the barge again, and I--covered in Antelope blood, chicken feathers, gale disease, and sweat--have left Kole forever.


Black River Eagle said...

The Kole diary entries from your last trip to the field is some of the best writing and storytelling I have ever read here. I can see that you are preparing to return home and can only say again that your adventures in the DR Congo will be sorely missed in the blogosphere.

Bon Voyage 007 in Africa and good luck with all your adventures and endeavors in life. Another Angel of Mercy is soon to leave Africa behind, but Africa will never leave you, ever. Thanks for sharing your adventures in the Congo with us.

P.S. Our visitors from Kinshasa have made it back home safely. It was wonderful having them here with us in Germany and I've taught them all they need to know about democracy and free and fair elections. Let's pray that everything goes well with the upcoming elections and that the DR Congo never returns to war and chaos again.

007 in Africa said...

Thanks for the compliment BRE--that's very nice :) And I'm glad you got to exchange with Kinshasa residents. As a friend told me "we learned a lot from the Congolese, but they have also learned a lot from hanging around with us". Cross-cultural friendships are precious.

Carl said...

I echo all of BRE's comments.

"Good Luck and God Speed" 007.