We woke up at the Guest House, in the pilot´s bungalow in Kimpese, a lovely and peaceful place. Everything that grows makes Congo especially beautiful this time of year. The temperature is between 25 and 30º C, we have daily watering due to the rain period, and in many places the soil is very rich. All these factors combined create an exceptionally beneficial climate for crops. Emy´s 4 hectares of soybeans and corn looked terrific and completely different from those dry-as-dust fields we saw only three months earlier, during our October visit. If we had problems with whirling dust on our earlier visit, this time the problem was the clay that stuck to our sandals and made them ten times heavier than they usually are. After our visit on the fields, the clay kept us occupied for a good while before we were well enough separated from the soil.
We stopped by Gothia Sport Center and chatted with the Football Manager. 200 children are active at this sports centre. They don´t just play football, the project also aims at teaching the children how to live together, cooperate and respect each other. Emy has told us before about the miracles that football does to these children´s lives. In the storeroom we saw the clothes that were presented from SVIF in October. The Congolese are probably created to play football – if you don´t have a regular ball, you make one yourself with rags and strings. There is much joy in playing ball here.
We had a meeting with Tutondele before leaving Kimpese. He told us of his development projects, funded by SIDA and the Swedish Covenant Church. They too work with loans, and have activities here in Matadi. We will try to meet some of the borrowers and find out how it works on grass root level. We also talked about brick stoves that he had taken part in developing. We have a stronger belief in the ordinary cast iron stove, considering the revolutionary effects it had on Sweden. With this kind of stove, you can bake bread, cook food and at the same time you get hot water for the dishes. And you save a lot of fire wood. That technical innovation revolutionized Swedish cooking. We shouldn´t have to invent the wheel again. Our interpreter Julienne confirms our thoughts on the cast iron stove. It is wonderful, she declares.
Yapeco came to meet us in Kimpese, and after having lunch with Emy, Yapeco and Julienne, we set off for Matadi in Yapecos Toyota Jeep. The journey was made especially enjoyable by all the beautiful views of hills and mountains. We were going at a normal speed, and right-hand traffic was applied during the entire trip. Yapeco is a balanced and pleasant gentleman to spend time with. It would of course be nice if he knew English a little bit better. Then, we both would get even more mutual exchange, I believe. Next month he is going to take a computer course in English, we´ll see if that might help. More Congolese than you think understands English, and the language is in progress throughout Congo.
I don´t have time to write any more today. I have to hurry to Yapeco´s internet café in order to publish this blog before they close in fifteen minutes. You´ll be hearing from me again tomorrow.