It is my first official day in Congo. I am in the MSF base in Goma getting briefed, staying in a beautiful house by the lake. On Friday I will go to Kitchanga, where I will be working.
We are in the dry season . This is a welcome relief from the snows in Europe. I have been advised to enjoy this weather as the rains are not too far.
Everything is of course new and strange… but in a pleasant and friendly way. I have been introduced to a sea of friendly smiles and handshakes. This is very much a Francophile country, more so, it seems, than Haiti. The roads are a little rough. Goma is a big town with numerous shops and vendors lining the street. Lake Kivu is a hub of activity with the harbor, fishing boats and drivers washing their vehicles. The ladies are elegantly dressed and they sashay down the streets while they go about their activities, immune to the chaos around them. The lakeside is a riot of colour when the ladies do their washing in the morning.
For now I am just keeping my head on my shoulders and consciously avoiding any sense of getting overwhelmed. It is of course normal to feel a little lost in the beginning. I am pretty sure I will settle down when I get my teeth into the project.
Keep me updated with stories from home!