I finally arrived in Kitchanga on Friday. It was a bum-shaking 4 hour ride through a green tapestry of forest, mountains and small farms. There are little children all along the way waving. Men push bicycle loads full of coal and farm produce. Little girls have sleeping babies strapped to their backs. Weary mothers are bent double with big loads on their backs and their babies in front.
We drove past areas with a lot of deforestation. It is sad to see places where big magnificent trees have been cut down for furniture and charcoal, though I think there is some sort of reforestation programme and we did indeed see some brave baby pine trees along the way.
Kitchanga is a busy town with many shops, street vendors, small bars and restaurants that line a large dirt road which is the main street. Our office and house have the luxury of hot water, flushing toilets, electric generators and good food. We have a small garden in the front and a small vegetable plot in our backyard.
It was of course WONDERFUL to finally see Claudio again! And now I am looking forward to start work properly.