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Ticks, cats, and snapshots - Adventures of a Retired Armchair Traveler
sometimes i visit these: Congogirl on Twitter / Bloglines Congogirl link / Congogirl's Links List on My Del.icio.us / Where IS DR Congo, anyway?? / Congo Daily / good summary article on DR Congo / Samantha Power's article, "Bystanders to Genocide" / Dizolele - Eye on Africa / Congo Blog - Ba Leki / Cedric Kalonji's photo blog / Extra Extra / Nayembi / Thirteen Wildlife Blogs from DR Congo / Babycatcher / Global Voices / Helene in RD Congo / ID Land - adventures in international development / John's Blog / Kim Gjerstad in Congo / On Safari with el Jorgito / The Salon of News and Thought / This is Zimbabwe / Bluehaired Mary / African Path / Global Bioethics Blog / Somewhere in Africa / Africa is a Country February 2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 11:00 pm
Ticks, cats, and snapshots

There are still some stories to share with you, so I will tell you one, and show you some photos as well. 

This morning when I got to the office, one of the guys was talking about all the new ticks that he has since the gunfire.  He seemed to be the most nervous Nelly of us all.  But I knew what he meant.  Saturday night I stayed in my friend's apartment with her adorable cat rescued from the Memling when it was just a skinny hungry loudmouth.  OK, I can't vouch for the loudmouth part, but my Congolese cat was certainly a loudmouth as a kitten. 

New places are always unsettling, and till then, I had spent 2 nights in an unfamiliar hotel, 2 nights on the floor of the office, and then her living room.  For most of the night, I slept like a baby, and the cat curled up with me, first near my arms and later near my legs. 

in the early morning, still dark, I suddenly awoke and sat up straight in my bed, trying to figure out where I was.  I had heard a noise that my brain incorporated into a dream, and I was convinced that a grenade had been thrown through the window (miraculously with no broken glass) and was on the floor about to explode.  On the verge of running into the other room to tell my friend that we had to duck and cover, I replayed the noise in my head, which sounded like a lighter falling off the table.  Then I realized.  The cat probably knocked a lighter off the table.

My photos are not super informative, but for what it's worth, here are a few.

Vehicles collected in a pool in the middle of the compound away from any streets.



Dinner (before foraging for sardines).



The bottom floor hallway where we hunkered down when the mortar fire got scary.



Now I lay me down to sleep.



Empty street and vendor area once folks fled.



Some of you may not be familiar with the water-in-a-bag phenomenon.



[I took these photos clandestinely so that my colleagues wouldn't think that I was going off the deep end.]

Come back tomorrow for smoke and aftermath.

Tags: , , ,

26CommentReplyShare

amalthya
amalthya
Laura
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)

Really appreciate the photos! Gives a very visual sense to the whole conflict.


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congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)

The card reader and the knitting - don't leave home without 'em. Not to mention toothbrush, a week's worth of snacks, and clean knickers.

You should see the bag I carry around these days ;)


ReplyThread Parent
amalthya
amalthya
Laura
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 11:10 pm (UTC)

Also, that water in the bag is SO dodgy tasting!

But you're bringing back so many memories of the conflict in Goma when I was there ;) I literally had every piece of valuable anything with me at all times as well as anything I'd need were i to be evacuated.

Hehe. Honestly, though, stay safe. You're in my thoughts!


ReplyThread Parent
congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 11:19 pm (UTC)

I am staying safe, and I am lucky to have people who are looking out for me. Yes - I was thinking more about getting trapped again, but perhaps I should be thinking about getting evacuated as well. Nobody is talking about that here, although certain embassies have said that dependents can leave for a month on the embassies' dollar.


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helenerd.wordpress.com
helenerd.wordpress.com
Wed, Mar. 28th, 2007 08:58 am (UTC)
the water in the bottle

ah c'est marrant :) I remember drinking some of this water once in Masina, I was dying thirsty (hang over and we had to stay with some friends in a hotel in Ndjili. that was when we couldn't drive back to binza at night for security reason. the inter was not really an option so we ended up in Ndjili. it was the cleanest hotel I've been in in the Congo.. very unlikeky in Ndjili I know!! but soooo clean. however they didn't provide water). So I had some oasis water in the sunny morning and loooved it :) but I guess right now I would find it discusting ! thanks for you blog congogirl.


ReplyThread Parent
congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Wed, Mar. 28th, 2007 10:01 am (UTC)
Re: the water in the bottle

Hi Helene! I have seen your link on Fred's blog and dropped by a couple times. I'll add you to my links list!


ReplyThread Parent
bluehairedmary
bluehairedmary
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)

You are braver than I would be. I probably would have called Dubya himself and said, "Get me outta here now, sucka!"

I guess Lipton tea and sardines is the "city in unrest" diet? I hope you have your yarn with you now!


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congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)

Yeah I have no clue what was up with the sardines - I guess cheap, they last a long time, and they are in the back of the cupboard when everything else is gone. The first time I had it was when I went to Kisantu with my old job and stayed with the sisters at the church, and we ate sardines and bread for breakfast.

Nescafe is an office staple, so there was plenty of that, and about 10lbs of sugar.

You think Dubya cares about me? Huh. Actually, I have another story like that coming up.

Working on a knee sock right now. Even though it's past bedtime...


ReplyThread Parent
angel80
angel80
angel80
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)

Interesting that you have a mattress at the office. Is that for siesta or for emergencies such as this? (In Vietnam, people have the siesta on their desk tops.)

Hope it's all over now.


ReplyThread Parent
congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 08:11 am (UTC)

Oh man, that would be great - siesta on the desk!

No, we had three that were purchased for one of my projects, and they are being moved to another site, but we were lucky that they were still here.


ReplyThread Parent
freshgroundfemm
freshgroundfemm
gimme an "e"
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 12:37 am (UTC)

OMG, I had a tick on me this morning. I freaked out and had a panic attack. Marit had to come rescue me.

Not the same kind of tick, but it reminded me.

This was after we im-ed, otherwise you would have had to e-talk me down.


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congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 08:14 am (UTC)

Oh that is worrisome - but at least it didn't get burrowed in, right?

*shudder*


ReplyThread Parent
freshgroundfemm
freshgroundfemm
gimme an "e"
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)

Its head got in there, but I think Marit got it.


ReplyThread Parent
crepuscular_pen
crepuscular_pen
crepuscular_pen
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 12:51 am (UTC)

I know the water in a bag. But the frozen yogurt in a bag, now that's good stuff.


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congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 08:14 am (UTC)

Must be kind of like those oblong popsicle thingers in plastic that are basically frozen bug juice. Although frozen yogurt sounds better...


ReplyThread Parent
noricum
noricum
noricum
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 03:12 am (UTC)

Water in a bag is new to me, but I'm familiar with milk in bags. Do you snip off both ends and put them in the special jugs too? (And is it really orange, or is that from the table below?)


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congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 08:17 am (UTC)

Yes, the coloring is due to the table!

I am not familiar with milk in bags, but it makes sense. In some countries, they'll put your coke in a bag and keep the bottle if you don't want to drink it onsite.

No jugs for the water, that I know of. I am not sure how people drink it, we had enough in bottles.


ReplyThread Parent
liznen
liznen
lizzie
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 03:33 am (UTC)

wow, I sure miss a lot when I take a little lj hiatus. I'm glad that you're OK. Hope you won't have more scary midnight wake ups either.


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congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 08:18 am (UTC)

Thanks, and me too! So far so good :)


ReplyThread Parent
flemmarde
flemmarde
flemmarde
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 05:39 am (UTC)

a stock of sardines is one of the staples that H always buys for in the back of the cupboard. when the leftover sauce is running low and there's not much else in the fridge to prepare, he'll chuck a can of sardines into whatever to stretch it out into another meal.

i was puzzling over that water in a bag, coz it looks mighty like the water after it's been consumed! but yeah, i guess it's the colour of the table behind it.

was the mattress crackly when you moved? it looks it.

thanks for the pics and i hope the middle of the night wakings drop off. i guess you have to expect a bit of natural post trauma processing for a few days. it's the psyche's natural response to unnatural events. it's only problematic if it continues on and on unabated.


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congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 08:21 am (UTC)

I don't mind sardines at all, really - I have a can or two in my own cupboard. But still, most people I know don't eat them regularly, or don't admit to it!

The mattress was a bit crackly, but not too bad. They are new, so they still had the plastic wrap on - they're supplies for one of my projects.


ReplyThread Parent
flemmarde
flemmarde
flemmarde
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 11:23 am (UTC)

ah... i thought they were maybe incontinence mattress :)

a can of sardines was always a treat for my brother and i on supermarket day. after helping with the shopping after school, we'd down a can of sardines and a tub of honey and almond yoghurt.

odd huh?


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)

Oooh, I remember that jumpy feeling. And carrying around everything you need to evacuate all the time. Not fun. Hang in there. It gets better. Or something closer to normal, anyway. (Put it this way, when I hear a car backfire, I no longer assume it's a gunshot.)
- Texas in Africa


ReplyThread Parent
congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)

It's funny the things that make me jump. My toilet at the hotel makes a special noise when it's about done filling, after flushing, and it gets me every time.


ReplyThread Parent
ticklethepear
ticklethepear
Sylvia
Tue, Mar. 27th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)

The dining table shot reminds me of many, many visits.

At least you're not dealing with "milk in a bag."


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congogirl
congogirl
congogirl
Wed, Mar. 28th, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)

Yes, what would life be without those staples?


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