Since we arrived in Brazzaville, we have only had electricity for 5 minutes (on Wednesday) in the apartment. When the computer battery was out of power there was nothing we could do about it. No computer, no internet. Therefore, no blogs. When we came home tonight, Thursday, the apartment was lit up to our great joy, but wonderful is short, the power stayed only 10 minutes. Luckily, after half an hour it came back again and this time we hope it stays. The flat is anyhow very nice. I will write some of the blogs so that we will catch up.
Tuesday started with planning for the last two weeks in March together with Nsimba and Yapeco. Then, we intend to sell our solar lamps. At 10 o’clock our good friend in Kinshasa came and took us to the ferry station by the Congo river. He helped us get through all the checks unscathed. The trip across the river was very pleasant. The foam swirled around us and it reminded more of a speed contest than a ferry ride.
The first control on the Brazzaville side was for Ebola. That check went well. Next control was less pleasant. We had to pay 1200 CFA ($ 2.40) just to enter the country. Then, an official who forced himself upon us made a mess of the last control. He filled out Kerstins papers completely wrong. After that, it took me half an hour and an interpreter to sort out the confusion. For this “service”, I was expected to pay 10 USD. To our great dissatisfaction, we finally agreed on paying 7 USD for the mess.
The next step was to take a taxi to the EEC Church’s apartment Saka Saka. We found a very reasonable taxi driver. Along the way, I went to a store to get a SIM-card to my phone and a mobile internet connection. The driver and Kerstin had to wait for almost an hour. When we arrived at the residential area where the apartment was located, it turned out that it was very difficult to find. There were maybe 50 identical houses. We knocked on doors, asked passers, and searched among the houses. And our very patient taxi driver helped us with this. Eventually, he got a 100% surcharge on agreed price. He was certainly worth it. My phone number in Congo is +242 055 833 833.
Finally we meet a lady on a street between the houses who asked us: “Do you know Maria Lorentsson?” We certainly did, it was she who had booked the apartment for us. The lady escorted us to Maria’s apartment in the same area, and as a coincidence Maria was at home and she helped us find our lodgings. The lady we had met works for Maria. Certainly, there must be a higher power who has mercy on his lost children? We have an absolutely stunning apartment, but it will not be easy for visitors to find us here.