Various Views of North Kivu

So this is the miscellaneous photos section – various items accumulated over the months and stuck here as the second of two entries I’m posting same time, more or less. Above: from the hillside in Rwanda, descending toward Gisenyi and the border, the north shore of Lake Kivu and the a bit of North Kivu in the DRC. You know it’s shot from Rwanda there are no roads even vaguely as decent as that in all of North Kivu – at least none in Goma or anywhere I’ve been! Below – other shots of the lake from the expat houses, of the base in Mweso, a rainbow over Kitchanga, and a few miscellaneous shots of Kashuga. The rest of my lengthy text continues…below. 🙂

We do, however, live wonderfully well within our compound, and when we have the energy we even pop a movie onto a computer and beam it onto a sheet hung on the wall in our common room. I usually cook something lovely from the garden on Sundays – if you’ve ever known me any place I even vaguely live, you’ll know that my thing is to cook for the folks I like, or love, or wish would love me or like me or…whatEVER. Anyhoo, so when Hosanna came to the project back in February she brought tons o’ seeds: we’re talking swiss chard, kale, string beans, basil, you name it. And I admit to some pride at the pretty fine soups, quiches, stuffed calzone-type items, and pot pies I have been churning out. It goes like this: wake up early Sunday (because I always wake up early, because I always go to bed early, because there’s nothing else to do in the evenings in Mweso except look at the amazing stars in the amazingly dark sky or listen to the beautiful chorus of frogs – there are different kinds and they sing in shifts; no kidding), sit on the porch (picture in the second of these two posts over which I plan to string this text; if you look closely you’ll see my cup of tea & my book on the table at bottom of photo…yup, that was a Paul Sunday morning in Mweso) drinking tea & trying the internet (if it takes less than five minutes to get an email to display, it’s a good morning; usually I give up after about ten minutes with no results) or, as a backup, writing in the ol’ journal or reading. After that: maybe yoga, maybe a session on our cool new elliptical machine (miracle for stress management, that), maybe some eggs (lately, Raghu’s been developing a fine way with a frittata and we’re all benefiting), and perhaps a nap.

If the workload is too heavy, I might actually spend middle o’ day working, but I try to wall Sundays off and not even enter the office once. Then in the afternoon I’ll grab the sheers and fill a basket with what looks good in the garden, then start cooking. Usually Carla will help me chop and peel, unless she’s in the operating theater. Usually others will be playing cards or listening to music on the other side of the porch; and if I can, I’ll join them. Or we’ll all play a game of Risk. Then, when the food’s ready, we light some candles in the paillotte (two photos of it all decked out for easter brunch in the same set as the porch photo) and settle in for dinner. Sometimes after that comes a movie, or a campfire; sometimes it’s back to the card games or Risk or just off to read and relax before bed. Then, the next day, the work week starts up again and before you know it another week’s gone. And that, my friends, is how my past eight months have swept by rather like a river in flood – amazing, overwhelming, intensely educational & rewarding, and really rather exhausting. Hope you enjoy the photos. If all goes as planned, I’ll have a bit less than two months to go still in Mweso after I return; and with any luck, I’ll return from this vacation with more than enough energy to have a strong finish. Let’s hope so. :-).

One response

  1. Stephen Brockmann

    Paul, all the pictures of the Easter brunch and your talk of fritatas and soups is making me hungry! I think I’ll go down and have some breakfast!

    August 3, 2011 at 13:23

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