Saturday, September 5, 2009

best read in chronological order... start at the bottom....
The Makotipoko with 6 barges, we sailed with 10 barges.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I spent 4 days onthe Bomassa and arrived at Mosakka. After all the dire predictions and warnings, it was a remarkably easy journey. Africa never ceases to surprise. After the initial confusion, Thierry took me under his wing. I had my first hot shower, in Africa. I feasted on Duck, crocodile and goat each day. In the evenings I even managed to watch the Dark Knight and several Bond films on his DVD player. I felt, however, slightly detached, the journey lacked the authenticity that I craved. The journey was supposed to be a challenge and ended up being a cruise. I wanted to travel with Africans and like an African.
Be careful what you wish for.
My living conditions have fallen somewhat dramatically. Instead of a comfortable sofa I am bedding down on the metal deck of a barge, wth only a sheet for comfort. Instead of a nice private cabin I am sharing 6 square metres with a Congolese family of 6, 2 caimans and several chickens. Instead of fresh juice I am drinking river water from the Congo river(I run the water through a coffee filter I picked up and then add several drops of iodine per litre((I recommend iodine to anyone travelling, I have drunk local water everywhere and just added iodine to purify. No money spent on bottled water and importantly no plastic, it is also a very effective antiseptic for cuts and minor injuries. I am unsure of any long term affects of consuming so much iodine, thyroid??).
Bienvenue to life on the Makotipoko.
The Makotipoko is a small tug pushing 10 barges. The barges are piled with huge logs, planks and wooden furniture all being transported down to Brazzaville. There are around 250 passengers, mostly Congolese, a handful of Cameroonians and about 50 Zairean refugees fleeing attacks from the Ugandan Lords Resistance Army in Eastern Congo. People shelter wherever there is space, on deck, on top of logs, between planks and erect a roof of plastic or tarpaulin. The best shelters belong to the refugees who have good quality white and blue UN plastic as roofing(see photo). Most of the Congolese are ex workers from the CIB logging company, the economic crisis has reached the depths of the Congo jungle and CIB has cut production (and workforce) by 60 percent.
Family life here takes place in the open air; Each day my curious eyes see children being washed, mammas preparing food and old men sniffing tobacco. The boat is a huge market and people trade food and cigarettes all day long. The internal market is supplemented(and a little bit of excitement generated) by the pirogues that villagers paddle frantically to moor on the side of the boat(the boat doesn’t slow down and many are left hopelessly in our wake). They hawk fish, cassava and papaya and all the villagers come and have a little gawp at the mandele.
I have a new best friend.
Michelle is ten years old with the natural curiosity and energy of the young, untouched by the self consciousness of the teenage years. A scar next to his right eye gives him an expression simultaneously both earnest and quizzical. After the standard exchange of name and nationality, he endeared himself immediately to me by asking:
"Are there dragons in your country?"
He is definitely a keeper.
"Some people say they exist, other don’t. I have never seen one, but I believe they exist." I reply, not wanting to dash his hopes completely.
"How can you think they exist if you have never seen one?"
"I believe many things exist even if you cant see them, like gravity or love."
He wisely ignored the last part of my statement and replied assertively
"Dragons breathe fire" and headed off below deck.
The following day I gave him a Welsh pound coin with the dragon on it.
Now he wants me to take him to England.
Not surprisingly there are many children on the boat, and they come and play with the Mandele each day. During the boat journey I picked up a number of nicknames:
"The white man who swims" after a morning dip in the Congo.
My favourite: "the white man with blue fire" I have made a small stove out of a couple of coca cola cans which burns methanol, to cook my food.
"The white man who eats little children", when children scream mandele at me i usually reply "Mandele na liya mwana" Yes whiteman likes eating little children.
And the somewhat less fortunate "the white man who thinks his father is a monkey" apparently my explanation of evolution was less than convincing.
The boat is making good time, we should be in Brazzaville in 3 days. We move along at about 15kmph following the white arrows posted by the Bomassa. The river is vast, the Congo is the second largest river after the Amazon, and at times it is hard to male out the opposite banks. On our right is the Republic of Congo and to our left the Democratic Republic of Congo(formerly Zaire, ive used zaire inthe blog just to avoid confusion). The landscape is flat and covered in forests apart from the occasional small village poking out from the trees. There is smoke on the horizon. The villagers are slashing and burning the forest before planting manioc and all along the route there are large fires on the bank. During the day the plumes of smoke seem threatening and give the landscape an apocalyptic feel. At night however, the orange glow all along the banks resembles an airport runway and has a comforting feel.
Day two. I was woken this morning by a baby chick scampering across my face. Cute it was not. Cesar(father of the Congolese family) proceeded to show me how the crocodiles had huddled round the charcoal burner during the night for warmth. I made a mental note to make sure the burner was lit each night, otherwise they may seek body warmth.
I was invited up into the navigation cabin today and was alarmed to see the Captain downing 2 beers before 10am. Justification, 1 hour later we hit a sand bank and beach the boat. We are well and truly beached.
Day 3
We return to the beached barges. Another day of pushing and pulling awaits. The passengers are upset, there is talk of mutiny. A frequent question that gets passed around is "What do you think of the navigation?" usually swiftly followed by a torrent of abuse directed at the captain and his mother. People are angry and food and cigarettes are running low. However, My little dragon is regularly bringing me plates of food and all the mammas on board are eager for me to try their cooking.
Another worry is that the quinine I bought in Cameroon is counterfeit. My consultant in Cameroon estimated that 30 percent of all pharmaceuticals in Cameroon are fake, imported from Nigeria. What kind of sick fuck goes to the effort of producing counterfeit medicine.
Then again this same consultant who complained bitterly about counterfeit medicines had her own little dodgy business going on. Each day she would steal medicine from the hospital and sell it on at her own pharmacy. Charming.
Many medical practices in Cameroon shocked me. In clinic I consulted a 78 year old man with AIDs. He was suffering from ankle oedema(swelling) probably due to the Kaposis sarcoma that covered around 70 percent of his lower limbs, but perhaps due to heart failure. He had visited a traditional healer who had seen the excess fluid and decided to do something about it. He had made 4x10cm wide incisions on the soles of both feet, presumably to drain the fluid. This man can no longer walk.
It is estimated that 60 percent of the worlds population refer to a traditional medical practitioner before accessing western medicine. Whilst I accept that traditional practitioners are a resource, and that many traditional remedies can be effective, the traditional practices I saw in Cameroon appalled me.
I did however come across one fantastic traditional cure, whilst on the boat. A young girl was eating a fish, when she got a fishbone stuck in her throat. Papa started slapping her on the back, whilst I started getting ready to try and perform the Heimlick manouervre. However, Mamma reacted first, she grabbed a banana, quickly peeled it, broke it in half and thrust it down the young girls throat. She swiftly recovered. I was amazed. I guess peristalsis gets hold of the banana and forces it down the oesophagus, and the resultant peristaltic bulge puts extrinsic pressure on the tracheal obstruction??  I have christened this somewhat unoriginally the African Heimlick(I don’t even know how to spell Heimlich) any suggestions of better names gratefully received.
By the end of the day we have freed all but one barge, which remains obstinately stuck on the sand. Patience is starting to run low.
Day 3
This morning i touched the DRC for the first time, I swam off from the barges and planted my feet on Zairean soil. I sneaked off behind a tree and had a cheeky poo. Toiletting on the Makotipoko is rather less comfortable. To execute a number two,you head to the back of the boat, face forwards, plant your feet on the very edge, squat out over the wake of the engines and hang on to a rope with both hands. It conjures up vague memories of waterskiing.
We return to the single barge. Eeirily there are 3 or 4 large eagles hovering, circling above it like vultures.
Today we have changed tactic, the tug pulls up alongside the barge and turns on its engine, with the aim of clearing the sand by the force of the wake. After two hours, we figured that this doesn’t work. The Captain has now resorted to ramming the barge. We take a large run up, warnings are shouted and then we plough straight into the barge. We then reverse and perform the same manouerve again. Every 3rd or 4th collision someone falls into the water. There is a lot of anger, shouting and remonstrating with the captain, eventually everyone calms down. Until someone falls in again.
Night falls and we rush back to the other barges to find that one is submerged(we had the motor driven pump that clears any water that enters all day).
The passengers have now sent an envoy to the captain asking that we continue on to Brazzaville and leave the solitary barge to its fate. The captain after radio contact with his chief refuses angrily. The passengers in turn refuse to pay for their tickets.
Day 4
We finally managed to free the barge today. The passengers on the solitary barge were overjoyed, it cant have been particularly enjoyable, marooned in the centre of the Congo river and all your fellow passengers demanding that you be left there. To celebrate everyone climbs on top of the logs cheering and clapping. As we near the other barges, the men form into one group and the women into another. Singing and dancing we approach, men and women split reciprocally into groups on the other barges and as the boats meet everyone jumps around in carnival atmosphere.
noone falls in.
We formed up into convoy again and headed off.

Day 5
We have been sailing through the night to make up for lost time.
Last night iwas woken by torches flashing in my face, there was some grunts and movements and i fell back to sleep.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monsieur Ancien’s Guide to Bushmeat

The illegal trade in bushmeat is hampering conservation efforts to protect endangered species in the Congo basin. The WWF has produced an educational calender for educational purposes in this area. The calendar consists of photos and a cover sheet with lists of endangered species(Class A, more endangered and ClassB, less endangered) and photos to boot. The calendars are highly prized in this area, they are first used as a calendar, the pages are then separated and plastered ovewr the interior walls of the home as decoration. The other day I stumbled upon another unintentional use of the calendar. Around 100m from the WWF office there is a small restaurant, complete with WWF calendar on the wall. I enquired what there was to eat and Momma guided me over to the list of endangered animals which also doubled as a handy menu, informing me that today there was 1 class A and 2 class B animals…

The WWF are obviously losing the battle against the bush meat trade, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, this is the way of life for the people here and always has been, they hunt to feed themselves and their families. Secondly, it is cheap hardly any capital needed to start up, all that is needed is to buy a length of wire to make the snares. Thirdly, truckers love meat.

So with apologies to environmentalists and vegetarians everywhere, I present Monsieur Ancien’s guide to bushmeat:

Rule of thumb: The bigger it is the better it is.

1.Elephant, the most prized. Rarely eaten fresh, mostly smoked or dried in the sun. Elephants here give about 5 tons of meat. 2 kilos of smoked elephant costs around a tenner. (I abstained from eating elephant, so cannot give you a taste test)
2.Gorilla. Apparently female tastes sweeter than the male; although male makes you strong. According to Ancien, eating a male gorilla puts lead in your pencil (you can fuck all night, for those of you that don’t get the analogy).
3.Giant Pagdolin. Is some kind of throwback to prehistoric times, looking like a small stegosaurus:armadillo. Very tasty, same flavour as lamb.
4.Buffalo. Standard beefy substitute.
5.Abis. A small gazelle type creature, looks very tender but was quite a disappointment. I was expecting something as soft and delicious as Bambi’s legs…
6.Livre. Large rodent, reasonable, but mamma had stewed it to death.
7.Caterpillars. Surprisingly tasty if somewhat crunchy, the spikes give a slightly prickly sensation as you swallow, followed by a burning similar to a strong whisky.

***Monkey: hard to place, palatability depends on species. The Mayor monkey is a delicacy, but other are not rated so highly. The other day I watched Ancien work his way through the arm of a stewed monkey. Slightly disconcerting was the similarity of the bone structure, almost identical finger bones even down to the tiny fingernails, it was however lacking in one important detail. There was no opposing thumb, which I guess is why we are eating it and not vice versa.


The river Sangha is the border of Cameroon and Congo. This morning I hopped into a pirogue(a dugout canoe made out of one massive treetrunk) and we paddled across the border. On the other side underneath a large red, green, yellow flag stood the immigration. It was not the most friendly welcome. I was accused of being a spy, an ivory hunter, a botanist(bizarre), illegal immigrant, and finally a tourist. 2 hours later and 25 euros lighter (going into the back pockets of various men sporting AK47s) I was on my way.

I hate paying bribes.
Corruption is destroying these countries and I don’t want any part of it. Ancien gets a hard time off it at the border and ends up paying an extortionate amount to get his truck through, no wonder there is hardly any cross country trade. In fact regional trade within Africa(African countries trading with other African countries) is only 2% of total trade.

We move from the border onto Pokola, once again through pristine rainforest. Arriving in Pokola uniformed men once again had their hands out. I refused to pay out and he locked up the immigration post with my passport inside. I pass into town via the CIB, Congolese industrial de boite(logging company), a 2km enclosure covered in carcasses of massive trees. Ancien was waiting for me in town and we proceeded to celebrate in the usual fashion. Several bottles later a little nipper I had sent down to the docks to check out the boat situation came running back up to me, crying “Mandele, Mandele”.

The Bomassa was due to leave at 5am, sailing down to Mosakka, the confluence of the river Sangha, Obangui and Congo. Boats are few and far between and this was a stroke of luck for me. I was however drunk, Ancien was currently trying to buy me a pair of sisters to welcome me to the country, and importantly sans passport. I believe I caused quite a scene banging on the door of the immigration post at 1am, uniformed moustachied man(the kind I dislike the most) was not best pleased, but by 4am I was happily passed out on the deck of the Bomassa.

We sailed promptly at 6am. The noise of the engines starting up awoke me, followed by a rather puzzled looking French captain. I guess I didn’t look in great shape, dishevelled, hungover, unannounced and trying to spoon a piece of large metal machinery.

Thierry has been commanding the Bomassa for the last 5 years. Paid for by the French, the Bomassa sails the channel, signposting and clearing the route for other boats. Everything is done by hand.
The signposts are planks painted white.
The depth of the channel is measured with a metre stick.
Positioning is done by compass, map and logbook.
The only computer on board is Thierry’s personal laptop on which he writes informative, but very dull journals of each voyage.
The Bomassa has just cleared and posted the route along the Sangha, it is now heading downriver again to Mosakka, to join the Obangui and sial upriver to Bangui, capital of CAR. Crew of the Bomassa consists of 7 central Africans, 3 congolese, a Frenchman plus their wives and, inescapably, loads of children. There are also a fair amount of four legged passengers. Jacques the ship’s dog is a constant source of amusement and fear for all the local children along the route. We also currently have a goat(lunch), 3 crocodiles(also for eating), chickens for eggs and a couple of tortoises(also for nutrition) and a frozen monkey.

As much as I try to appear a man of the world(especially in front of a group of brawny sailors) I cannot help but tread gingerly around the crocs each time im down on deck. They are tied up with their jaws clamped shut, but they can still spit a loud threatening hiss whenever Jacques the ship’s dog approaches. My fear of reptilians causes a fair amount of amusement for the river folk.
I had a similar situation visiting a mountain lake in Cameroon, after trekking for 3 hours I reached the top of the volcano and traversed the caldera. Standing in the middle of my path was a huge bull, staring directly at me. After the initial shock I decided to play it cool and starting walking casually towards it. It lowered its head and started to paw the ground, making ready to charge. All nonchalance deserted me and I beat a hasty retreat. I sat down about 50m away and considered my options. As I was considering an honourable retreat(I have seen plenty of lakes in my life and have also seen the damage that bulls can do at San Fermin) a young fulhani boy hopped onto the road. No older than 5 or 6 he ran up to the bull and with a loud “WAH” whacked it round the head with a stick. Having a 5 year old show you how to be a man is quite a humbling experience.

The Fulhani are herders and live with their cattle year round, I spent 3 days in the hills with the boy’s family. Every cow has a name and a man’s wealth is measured by the number of cattle he has. Cattle, much as camels in Arabia, are used as currency; from paying a bride price down to buying a mobile phone. The mobile phone is used to spread news about good pastures and relate the current market price in different regions. It is a strange modern intrusion(with undeniable benefits) in what is otherwise a very traditional way of life.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I started writing this journal as a distraction and in no small way as a form of repentance. Distraction is the only currently available remedy for the intense itching that has plagued me for the last few days. Ladies and Gentlemen I have scabies, and it is getting me down. The itching is severe over my hands, arms and back, and keeps me awake at night, however the saving grace of rabies (ladies you’ll be pleased to know) is that it spares the face and the genitals.

Here in Congo people access western medicine to treat the symptoms but visit traditional healers to treat the real cause of the malady. As I have resorted to distraction to treat my symptom I also think I need to look a little deeper to find the real cause of my suffering. On the surface I either caught scabies from a patient I treated or a pygmy I shared a tent with. However this seems a shallow soulless explanation, I think the answer lies deeper back in my infant years. so I have decided it is time to repent.

Nicky Baker I am truly sorry for chasing you around the playground yelling that you had scabies or the lurgi. I would never wish such an unpleasant disease upon anyone (the truth is I was young, insensitive and more than slightly repulsed by how at lunchtime you would take a bite of your peanut butter sandwich, slurp of your ribena a bite of your penguin bar and swallow it all in the same mouthful). Anyhow I hope wherever you are now you have a justified smile on your face and can rest happy in the knowledge that some kind of eternal justice does exist.

Currently it is not the itching that is keeping me awake, I am bouncing back and forth on a terrible logging road in the jungle South East Cameroon. We have been on the bus for 24 hours and only covered about 150km, in fact we seem to spend more time out of the bus pulling it with ropes or building very dodgy temporary bridges than driving. Not only is it a long bumpy ride but I am engaged in an increasingly vicious battle for territory with the old mamma sitting next to me. I am cramped with my rucksack between my legs, as for some bizarre reason the driver refused to place baggage on the roof(normally the minibuses here are double their height with cargo piled on the roof, which makes them very prone to flipping over). I finally give Mamma a sharp nudge in the ribs, she seems to respect this as after a brief torrent of abuse she gives a chuckle and eventually falls asleep on my shoulder. I finally drift off as well, reciprocally leaning on her sack of plantain.

I awoke slowly. the engine is off, we’ve stopped. My first thought is that we’ve broken down again, until I see people crowded all around the bus pressing themselves against the windows. They all have their hands raised above their heads and they re wailing. It is about 6am, the wailing combines with the morning mist to give me the heebie jeebies big time. With a fair amount of trepidation I descend out of the bus to confront this strange ritual. The first thing that strikes me are the people, they are pygmies full grown adults all around 4ft to 4.5ft, they re all looking upwards. I notice that only the women are wailing, then all the men come forward suddenly and reach up to the roof of the bus. A coffin is passed down to them, I have been travelling in a hearse. With this realisation everything comes into a familiar focus; the solemn faces of the men, the wailing of the women. What started as an alien event, with understanding is transformed into a universal human event with similarities unchanged by race or borders.

I am heading to Yokadouma, a logging town in South east Cameroon, in order to head down into the Republic of Congo. Ive been travelling and working a medical placement in Cameroon for the last couple of months and now want to head off to the Congo. The plan is to cross the border and get some form of boat down the Congo river. I havent been able to find any real information about the proposed route(lonely planet for Congo consists of 8 A5 pages and only 5 pages for DRC, which is larger than all of western europe). The truckers i have met have told me there are river barges transporting timber downriver to Kinshasa and Brazzaville, journey time varies from 1 week to 1 month depending on the source.
There is one road that runs south from here towards the border, it is maintained by the logging companies and the only traffic is a steady stream of lorries carrying giant logs from the Congo basin out to the rest of the world.

The last time I travelled down this road(in search of gorillas) I had a slight security issue. I was travelling in a Land Rover Defender with another Englishman, on our way to the national park in search of gorillas. We came across a large hole in the road, the local villagers had created a small diversion of about 10m to the side. We crossed the diversion and were immediately surrounded by young men. They asked for the old gringo tax(which varies according to the tone of your skin), demanding a ridiculous amount for our passage. We refused, they climbed onto the car and started leaning through the windows. We negoitiated and gave them what was a generous sum, in the knowledge that we had no choice for our return but to travel along the same road. On our return we were immediately surrounded again and the price of a safe passage had tripled. Our refusals were met with brandishing of machetes and death threats. As some youngsters started trying to strip things off the outside of the car, a man pushed a machete through the window and started demanding cash. We accused them loudly of being bandits. This caused considerable consternation whilst they argued amongst themselves about whether or not they were in fact bandits. Charlie took advantage of the opening and put his foot down. The land rover roared forward knocking the majority out of the way, I dispatched the last hanger on with a sharp elbow Walter Bailey style(RIP).

So before continuing I checked in at the WWF office in Yokadouma to enquire about the security situation and to try and cadge a lift south. They radioed the main office, to my pleasure the calls signs were: “Bongo 1, c’est bongo 5 fin”.
Unfortunately the WWF has temporarily suspended sending vechicles down the road, due to a military operation against a serious group of bandits further south, who had crossed over from Central African Republic and were attacking vechicles and looting villages. My hopes of a safe passage to the border were rapidly fading. Bugger.

Two days later a solution arrived in the form of Monsieur Aloys Akoa, a Cameroonian truck driver barely a more than slight resemblance, albeit he is black, to Danny Devito. His company are still sending trucks down the road and he ahs agreed to let me ride with him to the border.
Aloys is known as Ancien, as he has been driving this route for 15 years. Ancien likes to start the day with a litre of 6.5% beer and I feel obliged to join him. At 6am we stop at a little village and have a drink with the chief. Aloys is well received, people come out to greet him at all the villages along the route. With reason, trucks are the lifeblood of these communities, they are the reason the road was constructed in order to bring timber from the congo basin out to Douala the port and then the rest of the world(as we travel down this road trucks passing in the opposite direction carry huge amounts of timber surreally marked “Helsinki” “Porto” “Berlin” which feel rightly so a million miles away. Trucks are by and large the only traffic on the road and the only source of income for the villagers, the drivers therefore are treated like royalty. There are 6 of us in the truck cabin, Ancien, Me, Autoboy(anciens son) and 3 Malians. Each night we stop in a small village and follow a routine; eat, drink beer, then Ancien trys to buy me women. The first time I declined his offer politely. The second time I decided to explain my position, my French is hardly eloquent and all I could come up with was “C’est pas la commerce, c’est l’amour”. Ancien proceeded to explain that there are two types of women here: One you sleep with and you pay them money. The other you just buy a few drinks for the night and then sleep with her. I told him I wasn’t particularly comfortable with either. He replied
“In England do the men not buy the women drinks”
“traditionally, yes”
“And do the men not sleep with the women?”
I did not reply and went off to bed alone.

We were the first truck on the road today, it also rained heavily last night. As a result we are slipping and sliding all over the road and Ancien has a grim look on his face(partly perhaps due to his alcohol consumption last night). We pass many downed bridges on the way, bridges here consist of a few logs stretched out over the river. It is only by a miracle of engineering that they can hold the weight of these large trucks. In fact many don’t, most of the downed bridges have a wreck at the bottom, some of the wrecks are alarmingly recent.

I am back in Mambele, the last town before the Congo border. I met up with an old friend who was my guide in the jungle. Petit Jean is at home in the jungle, swings a machete with ease and can smell a gorilla a mile off(literally, this is how he tracks the gorillas and we were rewarded with a group of 7 or 8 huge beasts). With Petit Jean there is none of the irony associated with the English forest dweller with the same moniker Little John. PJ is 4ft2”, a pygmy of the Baaka tribe, with a goatee and sharpened front teeth that form perfect little equilateral triangles. Origianlly the Baaka are hunter gatherers, they do not farm and live completely off the jungle. Nowadays they are almost all settled for some of the year and have access to modern education and health care. There is of course access to the more dubious fruits of modern society such as alcohol and cigarettes, which are taking their toll (similar to the fate of indigenous groups all voer the world). Despite their small stature the Baaka can put away a lot of booze. Indeed the last time I saw JP he was plastered, probably spending all the money we had paid him for his services in the jungle.

I settle down for a beer with JP, Ancien and Tito a military who we picked up on the way, in a small restaurant come bar, hotel. It is the epitome of a family business; Grandma is the overseer and general manager, Momma cooks the food for the clients, Son serves the cold beer from the bar and the granddaughters sleep with the clients.
The atmosphere is nice and the beer is cold, until I realise that the barrel of Tito’s AK47, that he is cradling in his lap is pointing unerringly at my chest. I edge my chair to the right and relax again. One of the granddaughters, who is obviously ill and painfully thin, takes my edging towards her as a sign of encouragement and puts her hand on my thigh. I edge back to my left, back into the line of fire.
The evening ends with drunken skanking with pygmies to a soundtrack of sweet reggae (my musical power complex continues even in africa) and thankfully no accidental discharges.

We crossed Cameroonian immigrations this morning and made our way to the river Sangha. The Cameroonian officer asked for the usual baksheesh and on the advice of my French friend, I sat and waited it out, eventually crossing for free. My French friends tells a story of the Congo border where he waited 4 hours refusing to pay, eventually the immigration gave up and handed him a rubix cube with a disembled image of jesus on the cross. Assembling the image of the Only Son in under a minute he was allowed to pass for free.

Electricity is about to be cut, ill post the river journey next time there is any electricity..

Next week Congo… In search of Umbongo..