This week was our second round of patient selection here in Congo, something quite unlike anything we’ve done before (normally we have one major event and that’s it). Over 70 crew members flew up from Pointe Noire to help with the process. We saw over 500 pre-selected potential patients.
Brazzaville was nice, and felt very different from Pointe Noire in both scale and atmosphere. It’s strange to be living in a port city that isn’t also the capital (as we did in Sierra Leone and Togo). There’s a much different feel to capital cities, and it was very cool to finally see this country’s.
I laid eyes on the Congo river for the first time, and across from us lay Kinshasa. The capital of neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The DRC is a completely different animal than the Congo in which I currently live. For starters, there are over 9 million people living in Kinshasa alone. That’s over twice as many people living in the entire country I’m currently in!
The DRC is essentially a form of Mecca for NGO’s around the world – there is some of the gravest need over there, and it’s where people want to be to help. I can’t speak to it experientially, but from everything I’ve been told there is a massive difference between these two cities that are separated by nothing more than a river. Even if it is the second longest river in the world.
It’s amazing to think how little separates us. Person to person we’re all very much alike. We struggle with the same joys and disappointments in love and life, and we all manifest good things along with bad. Rich or poor, handsome or ugly, talented or mediocre. And yet, something as simple as a body of water can stretch those differences to new lengths. Somehow we can think we’re different, and lose sight of things that would otherwise bring us together.
If you receive my newsletter every month, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you! Mail Chimp has been so slow it’s unusable lately, but I’ll get it out tonight or tomorrow – and it’ll have some good news inside! Promise!
Until next week, have some fun and some Mexican food for me!