Since we got to Goma I’ve been wanting to get a better sense of what it’s
like as a place. Sometimes running round from interview to interview, I
don’t stop to look around enough, as I’m usually frantically Googling stuff
to get up to speed on whatever I’m about to ask my interviewee about.
Today I think that changed a bit. We went down to the harbour to buy
tickets for the boat, and saw dozens of soldiers lying around on the
ground. Apparently they have been waiting there for about a month, with
their families. They were on the front line in Beni, and have been
redeployed to Bukavu, but they need to get a boat there, and the army boat
never comes, if one even exists, which is doubtful. When we were there
these beautiful boats were preparing to go out to lake (or is there a
better lake equivalent of going out to sea?) – lanterns are hung from the
long poles so approaching crafts can see them.
Then we went out to meet some prostitutes near the MONUSCO base (don’t
ask). On the way, we saw men breaking up the volcanic rock with pickaxes.
This is a place of bright colours but very black earth and rock. Someone
could make a mint exporting it as pumice stones.
Then back home via the Pharmacy of Hope and Steven Shop. And football under
the volcano. It’s all as atmospheric as it looks.