Things looking up.


8update*

we now have transport sorted down to Cyangugu and will head to the DRC on the morning on the 17th August. Hopefully this will come together now!

Fingers crossed.

Yesterday just before sundown, it was like a switch was flicked.  We were back in fine spirits after –certainly from my point of view – the most stressful and powerful day I can ever remember.  We hadn’t intended to spend so much time in Kigali, in fact we were only supposed to be passing through, but the Visa issues had changed our plans.  We have checked out of our room every morning, only to check back into the same room about three hours later.  We’ve had a great time and the opportunity to make some friends here, which has helped us relax and we could breathe easy knowing the Visas were finally sorted after some wrangling and a little over-payment.

Finally, we thought, we were to get out of Kigali, over to Ruyengari to stay spend the night in the mountains.  Have a run, some food, and a read.  We booked our bus tickets, then watched City (Joe Hart – legend).  Sitting by the bus waiting to board, the feeling dawned on us that it was the wrong thing to do.  So many things we had planned had gone awry so far and this is the easy bit of the trip – we have a responsibility to the Nicola, Millie and Fjona to ensure that every possible angle is checked and we have plans A, B, C, D and – if necessary – Z.  So back we went to check in – again – and had a pretty serious chat about what is before us.  During that chat we reflected that the fun is well and truly over now.  We will of course have a laugh along the way, its in our characters and it helps to relieve some of the seriousness, but we have a job to do.  We have a marathon to run, in one of the world’s most dangerous places, to highlight one of the world’s deadliest and most forgotten conflicts.  A conflict that is linked to everything we see around us here, and which looms large over us like a great shadow.

So today we plan, and as I type Chris is busy drawing up an itinerary and checking the facts.  His local knowledge is invaluable and to be honest I feel a bit useless, but he knows I will do what I can and I think my being here helps him focus on planning as I can take care of the rest.  We are thinking about our family and friends.  Particularly about our parents – we hope we do not put them through the mill too much and hope they are not too worried.  Our eyes are open.

We are walking in step out here.  And I am very grateful for that.

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3 thoughts on “Things looking up.

  1. Just to let you know, I am following your newsletter minute by minute.
    I came to the UK in 2001 as an Asylum Seeker from the D R Congo. I knew in the UK police officers do not carry guns in the street. I knew it was unusual to see a uniformed army officer in the street whereas where I came from it was common practise to bump into a rocket propelled granade or an AK47 carried by a police officer in the street, or seeing someone rushing home to get a riffle because a fight broke out etc… However, I was still very anxious to have to land in a foreign country and have to go through all the immigration and asylum claim process.
    I cannot imagine one moment, your shock or growing anxieties as you are getting closer to the object of your mission. I can only say one thing to you, despite the attrocities or what is reported about the Congo, let me assure you that Congolese people are one of the friendliest in the world. Some of them may carry guns or even rocket proppelled granades, some of them may look scary or angry, some of them may act under the influence of alcohol or poverty, but deep inside they are they are lovely people and a friendly approach in any encounter will help you break the ice and see these people for who they truly are.
    I wish you all the best and keep on informing us on your progress. It is a shame I had a brother based in Bukavu but he is now in Lubumbashi. However, should you need any extra back up you can always drop us a line or contact me and I am sure there can be someone in my network who may know someone who may be willing to help your mission.

    All the best

    Richard

  2. Thank you, Richard In our hearts, we know the Congolese people have hearts that reach out to all of us. Run for the hearts of Congo, Eric and Dom. I was in the hot seat in Moscow, 1989. I had the Visa. I was still in the hot seat. If you need Richard or his brother, don’t hesitate. Keep yourselves safe at ant cost.

    Katherine

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