Tag Archives: Congo

On the Banks of the Congo River

The heat was oppressive. The air was heavy, barely breathable for one not used to the nearly 100% humidity. I was given 5 minutes to take pictures on the banks of the Congo River, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. The Policeman who accompanied me, told me where I could point my camera. If he listened closely, he could hear the shutter click. After three clicks I had to move on.

The Congo River
Young men work the land on the banks of the Congo River, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Mud Baths, the Secret to Smooth Skin

It was late afternoon and the sun was setting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We stopped briefly at Lubumbashi River and were immediately surrounded by children. They posed for our pictures and asked us for money. They played and sang and danced. It was joyful and fun. This young boy was in the middle of a rather thorough mud bath when we arrived. I’m not sure what the optimum amount of time for a proper exfoliating mud bath is, but this boy seems to have it figured out. If you want smooth skin, come to the DRC and stop by Lubumbashi River just about any afternoon. Someone will surely teach you the secrets of smooth, smooth skin.

Mud Bath in Lubumbashi River
The secret to such smooth, smooth skin could be found in the mud of Lubumbashi River.

How to Build Your Own Mountain

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the province of Lubumbashi is known for mining. Copper is king in the Congo and Lubumbashi leads the way. The locals are proud of their mines. They are also proud of their mountain (wait, I didn’t know there were mountains in the DRC).There aren’t–well, maybe just one. Perhaps because the Congo is flat, the Congolese people built their own mountain out of tailings, residue, slag, and not so environmentally friendly stuff that copper mines produce. Lubumbashi mountain (I’m not sure that if an Englishman went up, it would still be a mountain) has become a symbol of the province. It certainly dominates the landscape. In a strange sort of African way, the people are proud of their mountain and all it represents, including the economic impact and the environmental damage the mines appear to be doing. So, if you want to build a mountain, invest in mines. Or, come to the DRC, they have plenty of mountain making stuff to go around.

Lubumbashi Mountain
Lubumbashi Mountain is made from the left over materials from the mines surrounding Lubumbashi.