Nairobi is local —-> dailystruggle.tumblr.com, Everything else is foreign
Addis Ababa, April 2012.
I was here on my previous trip. Addis Ababa is going through a major renovation, new construction everywhere, including a new light rail system under construction. For better or worse depending on how you look at it the government here seems incredibly focused.
The boat from Goma to Bukavu, takes about 6 hours, there are faster speed boats, but i chose to take the big boat, actually a ferry which departs form Goma at around 7am in the morning. Emanuel 2 - was the ferry i was going to take. it had 4 levels. the top level was the first class level , its designed like a lounge, with different sofas around coffee tables sort of like a hotel lobby - it also has private cabins.
The second level from the top, is the dining car, which had a large buffet a dining area and a bar and also some computers configured for internet access, the third level had a comfortable seating area typical of most urban ferries i have used before - this is where most passengers were - on the side at the end of this level the ferry had a nightclub, i think they call it ‘boite’ in french - it was early morning but the club was packed with revelers - one of the travellers explained to me in kiswahili - ‘wakongomano wanapenda ambiance ‘ - congolese love to have a good time.
The bottom level, had some seating and also cargo, motorcycles and also a mercedes ML , also there was preacher who was arguing with security to let him preach, he must have paid them a fee as later he was preaching up a storm.
It’s a gentle cruise on Lake Kivu, all the way to Bukavu - the ferry has numerous TV screens alternating between gospel music and Tanzanian movies starring Steve Kanumba .
The first thing you notice as you approach Bukavu, are the rather large mansions that ring the mostly 3 story mansions, some with private jettys.At the docks you notice a number of large ships under construction and a large sign that reads - Karibu Bukavu, kwetu pombe ni primus.
The Congolese embassy in Nairobi, had messed up the dates on my visa, since i don’t speak french i didn’t notice that my visa had in fact been post dated - so i get to Bukavu and a government official is waiting for me …….
Bukavu, D.R.C March 2012
Taking pictures in D.R.C is not so easy, but its what i do. I was out in the streets taking pictures when i got stopped by somebody in civilian clothes, who asked me to accompany him to the police station. I had a brief argument with him but proceeded anywhere. After some drama at the station i was let free - long story short, i knew somebody who knew somebody who new somebody and the promise of future payments. Either way the cops where never hostile, just dramatic - no hard feelings.