It’s been a very busy week, but I have some interesting pictures to show because of it.
On Saturday night we had a BBQ and hung out at the bar on site. It was a lot of fun because I was the only expat there, and everyone was really interested in talking to me about the states. It didn’t hurt that the Olympics were on and the U.S. women had just set a world record in track. It was cool to explain how while the women running were black, and I’m obviously not, that we were still American and that meant that I was proud to see them win because of it. It’s a weird concept explaining to people that hardly anyone in the states is actually from the states (sorry Native Americans, you know what I mean though), but we still support each other, regardless of where we came from initially.
Other than that, some interesting observations from the night.
- For people’s birthdays they sing it in multiple languages. English was definitely the funniest. Oh, and the tune is the same in each language too, that was pretty cool.
- Congolese music is apparently famous, multiple friends have told me this, but so did my co-workers.
- Congolese people smile a lot and are really fun people, until you try to take a picture of them, then almost all of them stop smiling. (after I teased them, more started smiling)
On Sunday I played Futbol with a bunch of the same guys from the night before. We played against some of the sub contractors from South Africa.
- We had a crowd with probably 30 people on our side, 15-20 on theirs, and another 40-50 locals. So, either A. soccer is still a big deal here, or B. there is not much to do here on a Sunday. I’m going to go with both.
- Our team spoke French, English, Lingala and Swahilii, the other team spoke French, English, and Zulu. There were some moments where I hadn’t felt more lost in my life.
- I was the only white guy there once again, that is if you don’t count Carlos at least.
- I’m still terrible at sports, no matter what part of the world I am in.
On Monday night I went to Dorba, the local town, and it was my first time out of the camp past dark. It was kind of sketchy, and I would never go alone. A few people harassed me for money, and one in particular was pretty aggressive, but my boss and co-worker were there and they took care of me. It was really busy, and reminded me of a flea market and a carnival put together. We went to Kokiza for a post funeral ritual for this girl who died in the community. We sat with the family, drank coffee, tea (which we bought in Dorba), and it gave everyone a chance to grieve with their friends and family. It was really sad, but I wanted to go because I am here with the community for both the good and bad. With over 15,000 people in a very poor third world country, the mortality rate is a bit higher than the states, and I guess I have to get used to that.
Lots of pictures today, hope you all still enjoy reading the blog. I’m constantly surprised at who takes the time to do so, and I appreciate all of your support. Next post will likely be profiling my friends here so you can get an idea of who I spend my time with.
Us out in the field
This is a bridge across a 10 ft wide stream. Motorcycles ride on this often, they’re nuts but they still do it.
A typical shop in Dorba
It’s like finding where’s waldo right?
Apparently it’s not common for Congolese people to smile much in pictures, but me and Carlos from Costa Rica, my Western Hemisphere comrade, we’re cheese-in away. Okay, I am at least.
Another one where I may stand out in a crowd.
This is post teasing that Congolese people don’t smile, so I got two of them to do so.
This is pre-teasing. We took like 5 shots and he either had his eyes closed, wasn’t smiling, or doing something weird. So, I chose the picture I liked most of myself and where he was doing all of the above.
Thanks for reading!