A barking dog woke me and Kerstin up. Another animal had growled at the dog, hence the barking. We went outside to listen to the morning sounds. We were met by an orcestra of animals and birds, and of all the sounds, only that of the dog was familiar to us. The chirping birds were wonderful. The morning is the time of the birds, in Congo as well as in Sweden. After a tasty breakfast we loaded the bus with our bags and suitcases. By now, our luggage had been reduced by about 40%. It was fortunate, because we needed the space for Yapeco, who had come to meet us.
I had borrowed Gunnel Jönsson´s mobile broadband. It was a little slow, but it worked. I called our daughter Hanna through Skype, and it worked just fine. Samuel Nzungo, nurse at the IME hospital, came to pick up the medical equipment Staffan and Kerstin Kvernes had sent along with us. Emy, who I wrote about yesterday, have many strings to his bow. Today, we visited his farming project which takes place on some land he leases, about 4-5 hectares. We met and talked to sex women who were preparing the fields for sowing soybeans. At the moment the soil was as dry as dust, but the rain period is coming soon and when it arrives they will sow. When the crops have been harvested and sold, 40% of the income goes to school fees for the children, 40% goes to living expenses of the families, 10% goes to the leasing and 10 % to seed for sowing.
We then visited his almost finished sports centre, which will open in November. It´s a magnificent establishment. 20-30 construction workers were busy at the site. Three large football grounds had been sowed with grass. Just now, they are brown and dry, but when the rain comes they will turn green. We visited Emy´s office and his Internet Café, which has with 10 computers. Emy was sorry that only one of them was in working order when we were there. If you read this, and own some good or new computers you could donate, you can make a difference here! Close to his office, there were classrooms for street children and children with special needs. It was wonderful to meet with Emy, it certainly raised our spirits and made us happy.
At the wall in Emy´s office and in the classrooms there were posters with the following text in Kikongo, French and in Swedish: ”Learn from yesterday. Dream about the future. But live today!” In Kikongo it reads: ”Ymdula ma zono. Sala lumbu kiaki. Banza ma mbazi!”, and in abbreviated form: YISABA. We continued towards Matadi, but made a stop in a village and visited a market where we bought bananas and some other fruits. Hugo found a bag of live locusts that he wanted to buy. His plan was to have them fried for supper when we got to Matadi. But since his wife Ritva was in charge of the money, he had to return the little creatures. Ritva didn´t favor locusts for supper, which caused us all to miss out on this delicacy.
The landscape is very hilly, with high hills and deep valleys. The land is covered with shrubs, you see a few palm trees and some small cultivated fields now and then. There ought to be a huge potential for growing more vegetables and setting up orchards. We saw quite a few wild mango-trees along the road, but the fruit wasn’t ripe. The closer we got to Matadi, the higher the hills became. They were almost like mountains, with the roads chiseled out of the hillsides like shelves. When we arrived in Matadi, we had a welcome reunion with Samuel Nkailu, who received us together with Muditu. Our group live in two houses, beautifully situated on the hillside above the Congo River. Where I’m sitting right now, I get a glimpse of the river and a part of the harbor. Matadi is the town of the hills. There are enormous differences in altitude. The Matadi citizens say: ”We go uphill and downhill, and the sweat is streaming.”