Wow… Where to start?! This last year has been the biggest whirlwind. I think back to this time last year and think gosh, could I ever have imagined this… I’ve gone from Kibera and Majengo slums to back to England to remote living in South Sudan to evacuation to Nairobi to great uncertainty and waiting and then now. Now. Here I am. In a little room in a team house set by the edges of Lake Kivu ready to dive into my next assignment. DR Congo. Sometimes it’s too surreal I pinch myself, and other times it’s so normal I wonder if I really was made for anything else.
So, DR Congo. Here on a 1 year contract (That’s what she said about South Sudan, I hear you thinking… But really I hope I will last the year this time!). Here as a project support officer. What’s that? I hear you asking. Good question. Still figuring it out myself. I was to be based in Kindu, Maniema Province (kinda in the middle of DRC but towards the East) supporting the area manager there in running programs in Water Sanitation and Hygiene. Maybe I will still travel there at some point. Maybe I won’t. I’m learning to be flexible! For now, I’m to be based in Goma (right in the east, on the border with Rwanda, and on the edge of Lake Kivu), managing a project which in essence aims at reducing mortality rates during childbirth by training ‘mother buddies’ to come alongside vulnerable pregnant women supporting them through their pregnancy and encouraging them to go for regular ante-natal check-ups as well as recognise any danger signs during pregnancy and after birth. It’s a brand new project in DRCongo, although TF. has similar work in Malawi and Nigeria, and I’m excited to be a part of it from the very beginning.
I’m living in a team house with other TF. expat staff, mostly Kenyan. It’s social and it’s fun. The house is luxury compared to what I had in South Sudan. And Goma seems a nice town: by far the most beautiful place I’ve lived in in Africa.
And so I begin a whole new whirlwind, and I wonder what I’ll be writing here this time next year, what I’ll have seen and done.
Bring on the new adventures, the new fun, the new memories, the new stories to tell and the new blogs to write.