Category Archives: 04 Congo

Shock absorbers

Gabon is… different. I haven’t quite put my finger on it yet, but I’m feeling my way. It wasn’t so much the sudden appearance of cows. Or the scarlet and turquoise flashes of tropical wings and the crowds of weaver … Continue reading

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On Suffering and Smiling

Since we arrived in central Africa, there has been an increase in the frequency of the appeal ‘On souffre’: ‘We’re suffering’. This is usually underscored with the unsaid ‘Give us something; assuage your colonial guilt’. I’m not about to argue … Continue reading

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Raincheck

I thought this blog was going to be about getting on the road to Gabon, but the universe had other ideas. It’s been one of those two-steps-forward-one-step-back-patience-is-its-own-reward-just-breathe-just-be weeks. I’ve never felt comfortable using the expression ‘I’ll take a raincheck’; Americans … Continue reading

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Air conditioning

What a luxury is fresh air. We arrived at the beach, clambered out of the truck and took our dust-logged noses down to the sea to drink it in. This coast is called the Côte Sauvage for good reason: ‘sauvage’ … Continue reading

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Gentillesse

Gentillesse is my favourite French word. As far as I understand, it means more than mere ‘kindness’. Gentil embraces the scope of the far blander English ‘nice’, while encompassing a range of more chivalric qualities from ‘good’ and ‘courteous’ to … Continue reading

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On the Razzle in Brazza

Last week, after I finished doing my round of the embassies to double check all our visa application details, I ended up at the SA Embassy. I just popped in to find out the right email address, but was treated … Continue reading

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At L’Haven Hippocampe

On 1st Sept the rather uptight Immigration official at Ndangandanga, the last village in the DRC, jumped in the truck, took us up to the border, lifted a rusty steel boom and waved us through. He told the bloke with … Continue reading

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