It’s Saturday afternoon here in Goma, and although I’m a bit under the weather, I’m starting to get excited about all I’ve been able to accomplish this week. Each of us has focused on a different set of stories, and we all seem to be getting our hands on loads of good materials to publish once we’re back home. Last night, despite a mild fever, I braved the trip to a local radio station to watch the production of a radio show that features a local imam who I hung out with on Tuesday. His name is Mohammad, and every Friday he gets an hour of airtime to discuss issues affecting the Muslim community in Goma. It’s essentially a Q and A between him and the sassy, female host of the program, and it was a lot of fun to watch their banter about religion in Goma. Because Ramadan started this week, a lot of the host’s questions were about why Muslims choose to fast. Much to my surprise, the host actually had me get on air and introduce myself to the audience, a very unexpected twist to the evening!
Last night’s radio show was an integral part of one story I’m working on, so it felt good to get that taken care of. And after another final interview for a different story this morning, I’m starting to feel a lot more certain about the direction my writing will take me when I’m stateside.
But at the same time, knowing our departure is just around the corner is making me very sad and disoriented. I’ve grown attached to this outrageous place in the week or so we’ve been here, and will be leaving unsatisfied at how many other potential stories I will have to leave behind. But Goma will still be here, and will hopefully only change for the better (if at all!) until the next time I have the chance to come back.
For now, I’m looking forward to tackling one last story and spending more time with the fantastic women who have been with me for this crazy and (literally) bumpy ride in and around Nairobi and Goma this month.
Siobhán O’Grady, Foreign Policy, DRC.