Donnerstag, 8. Mai 2008

RD Congo, 12-24 July 2008

Kendé malámu!

Goede reis! het beste! - Gute Reise! Mach's gut! - Have a good journey! All the best!

Two words of lingala to introduce this blog dedicated to a visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (République Démocratique du Congo or RDC).
From 12 to 24 July 2008, my very dear friend Michel and I will travel to the RDC.
We've been talking about it for many years. And now that the situation in this fascinating but tragic country has somewhat stabilised after years of civil war, we feel the time has finally come to go and see for ourselves.
Why the RDC?
Well, we both share a love for travel (preferably backpacker-style) and a fascination for Africa. Earlier travels have taken both or either of us to Tanzania, Madagascar, Egypt and South Africa. As we are both historians and both Belgian, the Congo has the added attraction of its historical and present links with Belgium. Even today, nearly sixty years after the independence of the former "Belgian Congo", as soon as you start asking around in Belgium you will immediately find people who, at the very least, personally know other people who have had or still have close links with the Congo, be it stretching back to the colonial era, or from post-independence times, through the missions, development projects etc.

The purpose of our journey is to catch a first glimpse of the Congo today (in barely two weeks we can hardly expect to "get to know" this vast and varied country). To visit as many different sites as possible, to talk to people, Congolese and expats working in Congo, and to get some idea of how they live and go about their day-to-day business.
This blog is intended to keep those who might be interested posted on our "explorations", and to share something of our experiences. Hope you'll enjoy it!