31 janvier 2006

Tintin au Congo

J'avoue, je n'ai pas pu resister. Quand j'ai vu ce fier jeune homme, son pantalon retroussé dans ses superbes chaussettes blanches, de façon à donner un style pantalon de golf, mon esprit mal tourné a tout de suite vu une réincarnation de Tintin. Je lui demande de prendre la pose afin d'immortaliser cette rencontre. Mon nouvel ami, très heureux que j'apprécie son style à sa juste valeur, n'hésite pas une seconde. Le voici donc devant vous, mais malheureusement sans houpette... I have to admit I could not resist. When I saw this... [Lire la suite]
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30 janvier 2006

Rita et les chimpanzés / Rita and the Chimps

Rita has found new friends. She's always been very sociable, but I have to say this time was pretty quick. They are a bit hairy, but she seems fine with it. Yes, her new friends are chimpanzees. Those who know her well will not be surprised: she loves exotic animals. So when she was proposed the job of leading the operations of chimps conservation in Congo, she did not hesitate. So here she is, working for the Jane Godall Institute.  This is a reputable conservation agency, with the same spririt as the Diane Fossey Gorilla... [Lire la suite]
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27 janvier 2006

Visages du monde / Faces of the World

Throughout our trips around the world, we've met very different kinds of people. Check our new photo album "Visages du Monde"  (on the right hand side, at the bottom), where you'll see indigenous people from Borneo, people recovering from the Tsunami, a peasant in Syria, Nubian in Egypt, wise women from Burundi, displaced people in Sudan, typical market people from Chile and last but not least: the original Mowgli!!! Nous avons eu la chance de rencontrer toutes sortes de gens à travers nos voyages autour du... [Lire la suite]
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26 janvier 2006

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25 janvier 2006

Easy Rider

This is a Chukudu. A very special kind of vehicle. It's not a bike, it's not a car, it's not a truck. A Chukudu is just a typical congolese thing, something that characterises well this people's ingenuity. Cars and trucks are scarce in Congo (I should say, it's far too expensive for people to afford). But business must go on, and things and materials need to be moved around and delivered. A Chukudu can move up to 500 kgs of goods. There are loads of those in Goma. One of my favourite is this one, encountered in Butembo. Watch the... [Lire la suite]
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24 janvier 2006

“Nous avons déjà souffert le ZERO DEUX” « We’ve suffered the ZERO TWO already »

There is a woman selling a lot of different pagnes (it’s a 6 yards piece of  traditional cloth that congolese women wear) in her shop. I want to inquire on the price, as I may wish to include this to the items we distribute to displaced people. Jeremie: Good afternoon, how are you today? The woman: I am fine thanks Jeremie: How much is a pagne? The woman: 6 dollars Jeremie: mmh, and how much if I buy 10? The woman: that would then be 5.8 dollars Jeremie: mmh, and how much if I buy 100? The... [Lire la suite]
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23 janvier 2006

Butembo, an extraordinary city

Butembo is quite a unique city. With 600,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city in North Kivu. But it grew so fast that it's not even on some maps. What characterises this city is its wealth and prosperity. Butembo and this whole region has been mainly untouched by the war. The Nande is the main ethnic group here and they are big traders and businessmen. They succeeded ensuring (by paying largely) that their business interests would not be harmed by the war. Even during the war, planes coming from Mombassa or Dubai never stopped... [Lire la suite]
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21 janvier 2006

Pregnant at 13 / Enceinte à 13 ans

That’s certainly one of the shocking and depressing images of Congo. Even when you know it happens, it’s always a shock when you actually see it. Whilst I visit a health centre in Eringiti, I meet a young girl, 6 months pregnant. She’s 13. She’s not an exception, I continue wandering around and I meet a second girl, 7 months pregnant. She’s 14. C’est certainement l’une des images les plus choquantes et déprimantes du Congo. Vous avez beau savoir que ça arrive, c’est toujours un choc quand on le voit de ses yeux. Me... [Lire la suite]
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20 janvier 2006


Waiting for the doctor in an medical emergency tent Monuc and the Congolese Army are conducting military operations in the Grand North Kivu (that’s how one calls  the northen part of North Kivu). People living around fled the fighting and took refuge along the ‘axe’ (the road connecting Beni to Bunia, deemed safe), mainly to Eringiti. In a matter of days, around 20,000 people started settling there. Relief operations followed to assist them. Shelter, food, water, sanitation, cooking utensils, free access to health... [Lire la suite]
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19 janvier 2006

Tiger Woods vs Georges Foreman

Irumu territory is a big area, on the west of Bunia. Its main city is Komanda that I have decided to visit today. This area is still quite unstable, militia quite active, and some fighting between the Congolese army and Monuc against militia still occuring. I went with Premiere Urgence, a French NGO, who is working with displaced people as well as people returning home. After several hours on the road we arrive at Komanda, a city that would normally not deserve more attention than a bottle of beer in a british pub. We visit... [Lire la suite]
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