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.