John from the DRC

I had dinner with another guest at the house tonight. John works for an international NGO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). He confirmed all that I had learned about the Eastern Region (Kivu area) of the DRC by reading  news reports, as well as John LeCarre’s Mission Song earlier this summer.  It is a dangerous region and there is much violence, corruption, poverty and suffering.  Out of their headquarters in Bukavu, on the south side of Lake Kivu, His group works to provide various types of basic needs assistance for the residents in the area.  As John told me tales of life in the DRC, he laughed often, although many of the stories were not laughing matters.

Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, is in the far west of the country and therefore, the eastern region is not connected by road nor by much of anything else.  Police officers and soldiers are not paid in the Kivu area, and therefore earn their livelihood by taking what they need from the citizenry. Commercial airflights are the best means of moving in and to the country, yet the flights are often cancelled, late, or have mechanical issues.  In some parts of the country roads are so messed up, they are not usable.

John has a strong faith and a desire to see his country turned around.  He is making a difference in the lives of the people he works with.  I am pleased to have met him.

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