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Thursday, May 14, 2009

from Claudine's diary...time to say goodbye

Time to say goodbye. The sun was at the zenith, right above our heads and we still had to walk the 6 kilometres back to the Matoku River and take the pirogue downstream to the confluent with the Lopori. In just one night, the water level had gone down quite a bit! Navigation had been hard enough on the way up!

Just as we were leaving, I bought a wooden guitar “made in Boso-Ngubu”, Pierrot got a hold of it and played us a jazzy improvisation on our way down the river!

A quick stop in Elonda to calculate exactly how much space the chief was willing to grant us, then we headed straight back home! On the way we passed the funeral convoy for that poor little Pôo girl, just 13 years old, whose parents had taken to hospital in Basankusu, but just that little too late, she was already in a semi-coma brought on by meningitis. We had bought all the prescribed medication as quickly as possible but she had succumbed despite the treatment (her lifeless body was laid out in the pirogue). Her father thanked us once again for our generosity. Alas, once again, death had defeated us.

And so, we returned to Kinshasa, images, ideas and smiles still fresh in our minds. But not before reassuring the football team, “The Basankusu Bonobos” that their football shirts and boots, bought for them by the Achour groupe would arrive soon, on our next trip, as well as the first aid kit from Madame Tixier on behalf of the Meulin football team.