Which is more inscrutable?
I live in Kinshasa.
If you put your finger on the map at Kisangani (the town from which the dugout launches to go up the Lomami) and then you trace the Congo River first north and then around the long bend to the south, after 1500 km your finger will come to Kinshasa, village of 8 million, capital of the Congo – DR Congo. I live here.
Our house/gîte was once, I think, a small colonial office for collecting river port taxes.
Often it is just me, with our Kin-mutt Georg, camped out on Poids Lourd Road, with both John and Ashley up the Lomami
I have to ask myself that sometimes –but the answer is obvious:
This is where we get the official papers to go up the Lomami
This is where we can lobby to protect TL2 effectively
This is where most of our collaborators have a base
Kinshasa is an urban village, sometimes humorous, always up-front , but entirely inscrutable.
Here is a little picture gallery of what I see in a perimeter of ½ km from my house every day.
From the shanties where they live, just around the corner, these mamas make a life selling street-lunch to day labor on Poids Lourd Road.
This off-shore shanty town constructed on abandoned barges is just behind my port-side house. That’s a fish-trap in the water in the foreground
You can just see my river-view lookout between the two captain’s cabins on the docked, “Joseph Conrad” river barges. That is where I perch on top of an empty freight container in the atelier behind the house with an afternoon tea or evening Primus (local beer)
From my lookout I can watch the forest coming down river all day to the timber processing plant next door. It is very clear why the name of the road is Poids Lourd (heavy weight). Those timbers weigh.
So far – TL2 forests are not in that pile. There are no concessions and our goal is to keep it that way.
It brings the workers to the timber processing plant next door
Perhaps Calvin Klein really has diversified into tropical timber — ?? Never know? all part of the inscrutability.
A worker pauses by the railway wall to toke up before entering the processing plant. It takes a bit of courage…
The Poids Lourd military are unperturbed, inscrutable.
Much of the timber is for export and some is shipped out as logs.
The forests of congo being carried down Poids Lourd, through Kinshasa and on to Matadi, the Atlantic port
And a lot of sawn planks are pushed off by local transport, “pous-pous”, for local use.
Local “pous-pous” transport is half of Poids Lourd traffic and cause of its constant traffic jams
And then I do have my corner of peace, me and the evening-singing palm thrush, and the cordon bleus, and the weavers and mannikins — and Georg
The epiphyte covered avocado tree stands sentry over my quiet lawn between brick walls.
This is where I live,
on Poids Lourd in Kinshasa:
A very peaceful place between 7 PM and 6AM
And always inscrutable.