Tuesday, March 6, 2012

So this must be the last post from Congo. Right now I am sitting in my apartment in Denmark missing Congo very much. To be back in the real world is too weird and too serious!
This was (even with a hangover) the best day of my life.
I am not going to explain why, I will let the pictures speak for them selves.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kabinda and Malonda Lodge

And it is not often you see a beach without trash, plastic and metal everywhere.
So last Saturday we went out to see some of Congo that I hadn't seen. We drove to The frontier, the border between ROC and Kabinda (not able to take any photos because of the police), and after that we went to Malonda Lodge for lunch and a swim in the sea.
 It is amazing how different the life is outside the city. We always bring some extra bottles of water and soda, for the people we meet on our trip. After seeing the border - not much to see, we drove to the lodge. We stopped at a small village, with a hospital which Chevron helped build and fond. I was basically born into Chevron. My mother has worked there for 26 years so I have always been a part of everything and I am feeling like a Chevron girl. So seeing that Chevron is helping in this way made me proud. And when the people heard that we were from Chevron we were greeted with respect and smiles.
I walked around in the village, just looking at the things, breathing an air which didn't contain gas or sewer smells. Then I saw some boys playing in a big pile of sand, and they were laughing screaming, still with the innocence of children, so liberating. And me off course had to go over there with some sodas and water, and they came running to me still grinning and looking beautiful. So they took me to their house just a few meters away, where I saw their smaller sister and mother sitting. And by house, I mean: one room concrete building with two holes as windows and a big hole as a door. The mother was sitting on a little wooden stool doing her small daughters hair. The stool was the only furniture in the room. There were cardboard on the floor in the corners and I am guessing that this was their beds.
Still the kids was happy, they loved me taking photos of them, and as I looked in the corner of the room there were lots of vegetables, fish and charcoal in the corner to last for many weeks. So the family wasn't starving, weren't without water, they had a roof over their heads and they had each other. Their lives is in may ways better than the people I see living in the city. They aren't dependent on other people to give them money or a job, they are self sufficient.
The rest of the week I spend with the lovely people I have met here in Pointe-Noire. Went out Saturday night, so much fun! Sunday we were hanging out at the beach, playing volley and swimming. And I am gonna miss this place with these people, very much!
This Valentines Day, I went out eating with a bunch of my friends, and I was just looking around the table and I noticed how many different countries were present at the table: Denmark, France, Holland, Sweden, USA, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. People I never would have met if it wasn't for Congo.
And now, I can for sure say that this isn't the last time I am living outside Denmark. And I have so many places that I am going to visit!
Friday I am having my farewell party. And it is off course now when everything is so fun that I have to go, but that is life. It is both with sadness and happiness I am leaving this place. I've had ups and downs, times when I wanted to scream and times when I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt. Met amazing people. Learned a whole new culture, a new language and a new side of myself. Luckily I am coming back to visit.

Monday, February 6, 2012

So just some photos of my last week.
Went to the Kouilou area and saw an amazing landscape. Lovely to see something clean and beautiful. The picture of me is bad (I know), but just wanted to show you my favorite place in Pointe-Noire. It is called Village Voulouir, and it is the place where all the good artists are. They make all sorts of things: toys, statues, bowls and very beautiful paintings. And yes, my apartment will be filled with things from Congo!
The three last pictures I just took tonight. I know the quality isn't the best, but I just wanted you to see what I see at night. Even though there are clouds everywhere tonight, the moon gave such a beautiful light I had to take a picture. And our garden and pool looks so exotic in the evening with all the lights there are.
 I have been here for about six months now, and it is only now that I really can enjoy the place. I found a way to see beyond the dirt, sand and poor people. I feel more connected to the place, and are almost sad to leave. Denmark though are going to be so different, I am maybe a little afraid to come back.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The football clothes.

So after collecting a lot of clothes from London and Copenhagen I finally was able to take some photos.
I donated everything to Samu Social and you can read a lot more on their (French though) website here, and from a previously post on my blog here.

I really want to thank everybody how helped, even though you may think you didn't do a lot, you helped tremendously!
The football clothes are from Kirstin Laursen a woman I admire very much. It was Stenløse Boldklub who had donated almost a hundred outfits to Kirstin and I was so lucky to get 9 sets to bring to Congo. You can read more about her and her families work in Gambia here.
You may wonder why the pictures are from the back, but that is because the children are under 18, and to protect their innocence the rule was made to not take portrait photos.

Samu Social isn't a orphanage, it is more of a home where the kids go to first. This is where they get medical treatment, food if they are starved and clothes if they need.
After the kids have had a full medical and mental check the crew, consisting of a doctor, a psychologist and teachers decides where the kid goes.
There are around 10 orphanages in Pointe-Noire, some work like a school with dormitories, and others work as a loving home for the kids that need special care.

Therefore I couldn't get a picture of the kids with all the clothes on, because there were only 13 kids at Samu Social today and the clothes are saved for the kids who really need it. Though I am sure I saw a couple of t-shirts I have seen before.

Now I am trying to work with Chevron in Denmark, to make them sponsor a container to Congo. And when everything is settled I will need your help to fill it up.
It brought tears to my eyes when I saw the kids faces. Running around very proud in their new clothes. I gave one pair of shoes to a little girl standing in the back all shy and barefooted. When she put the shoes on she just stood and stared at them. And then she looked op ran over to some other girls and yelled "My first pair of shoes!".
So everybody who have helped me - thank you very much!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Once a rainy day.

I have been organising my photos on my computer and found these nice pictures. So I just wanted to show you how it looks like when it rain down here. Normally the water in the pool is about 20 cm from the top of the pool. In 20 minuts (I kid you not) it rained so much that the pool was flooded.
The pictures was from October, so don't worry right now it is about 32 degrees (Celsius) outside. Even though the sun doesn't feel that warm, we really have to be careful because we are so close the the equator.
It is actually kinda strange,because this time of the year is supposed to be the wettest and warmest season of the year, but we have only had the warmth.
Not complaining at all!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My muse

So this is Trinity. The most adorable little girl I have ever met! Just spend some time with her last Saturday and Monday, and it is impossible not to fall in love with her.
I couldn't have that you missed out on her. She is a firecracker!
The last two pictures are of Trinity and her mother, and the last one is of her and her sister. Her sister is a little more shy, but I got her to laugh pretty hard last time. 
Just wanted to share some thoughts from my everyday life.

My sanctuary

Just wanted to share one of my new favorite places in Pointe-Noire. It is called Twiga, it is the daughter of the president who owns the place, and when you step in, it just feels like you are at any amazing hotel, relaxing by the pool. It is funny though, because you can really feel that there is no need for Twiga to be a big success. There is no need to earn tons of money - eventhough the place could. It is so clear that the president just gave his daughter Twiga, like you would give a child toy.
There are more waiters than costumers. It takes them at least 45min to make a pizza, and the people are, sorry to say, lazy. Every chance they get they sit down, stop and talk, or just walk around in slowmotion. The pizzas are really nice though.
I am so lucky that seafood is so cheap down here specially compared to Danish prices - mon dieu!