February 13, 2009
I am not quite sure what I should be writing for my first entry…learning how to use a ‘blog’…? I seem to be learning a lot of things these days…learning French, learning some Swahili, learning that vaccines are so terribly expensive, learning that you can go ‘loopy’ on malaria tablets, learning how to sell my stuff on ebay to help fund this trip, learning that I cannot get any travel insurance (seeing as I will be going into a ‘war/conflict zone’)…learning how to fundraise, learning that there is very little information available about this bus I need to catch from Kigali (capital of Rwanda) for a 6 hour ride through Rwanda to the border of the DRC seems to be a logistical nightmare on its own…and apparently this bus doesn’t stop for toilet breaks…now anyone that knows me knows how many times an hour I need to use the bathroom…I’ve been told by a friend however that should I ‘smile sweetly at the bus driver and be all ‘flirty’ (thanks Brandi…something else to learn!!) he might just stop…I am sure I will have it down to a fine art then by the time my bus journey ends…and my life in DRC begins!
Why do I need to learn all these things you might ask?
As for ‘blogging’…I am the last person ever to want to write ’stuff’ about myself, but seeing as my main intention for wanting to go to the Democratic Republic of Congo is to raise awareness of the situation there I thought that this might be a useful tool in helping me achieve this by giving first hand account of my experiences there and on the projects I will be volunteering on. I intend to do regular updates with photos with the aim of raising awareness and funding for the hospital/s where I will be volunteering.
French is one of the main spoken languages in the DRC so seeing as I’d like to be able to communicate with the people there it is a must (but a challenge…for someone who has never spoken it before)…as for the Swahili (another one of the main languages spoken) I am trying to squeeze this all in in between my full-time job and the ‘logistics’ of pulling this whole trip together.
My journey will begin on the 2nd of July with a flight from London Heathrow to Nairobi (Capital of Kenya), then a flight to Kigali (capital of Rwanda) and then a taxi ride to some bus station somewhere in Kigali for a 6 hour bus trip through Rwanda to the border of DRC, then another taxi ride to Bukavu, in South Kivu, Eastern Congo,where I will be staying for 2 months doing volunteer work (please see my ‘About’ page for further information on the Democratic Republic of Congo and my volunteer work).
So for now, whilst I learn and sort all these things in preparation for my trip to DRC, the blog posts will be somewhat ‘neglected’ but hopefully the site itself will start to evolve with more pictures, maps and information about the situation in the DRC.