I’m still here.
It has been months since I have written I know, but here I am. Life has continued. A cool and overcast dry season followed by a rainy season of hot, sticky, days and only marginally cooler nights. A tapestry of BBQs and pool parties, mosquito bites and new scratches on the car, unwanted work deadlines and welcome holidays. Dear friends have left, and new additions to Kinshasa arrived in the continual ebb and flow of ex pat life here. Rainbow chard and basil have thrived on the balcony, the tomato plants by contrast have caught some sort of leaf disease and withered and died. My passion fruit vine has had its first season fruiting.
What else to say? That I have been here over two years now. That in the last few months of 2013, over a year ago now, the 7 year relationship with M ended. Distance and difference and time zones. That I didn’t write about it then, because, how to?
That 2014 saw the start of a new relationship, begun under Kinshasa skies, on river trips on the vast Congo, a Bombo Lemene camping weekend, flickering firelight and plunging into cold fast flowing water, begun from a shared loved of pineapple, a shared sense of awe and wonder when stood in front of the Zongo waterfall, spray drenched.
That 2014 was the year of the trip to India for V and A's wedding, and two trips to South Africa. An early summer return to the UK for a wedding, and a Christmas one. That it was the year I first went to the East of DRC, to Bukavu and Goma. That my sister came to stay, and it was the very best thing having her here, showing her my life rather than just telling her about it. That in 2015 so far I have been to Mbandaka in Equateur Province and, just this last weekend, driven through Bas Congo to the DRC coast, magnificent, and more beautiful than expected.
I have photos a plenty, and words too, those these latter still flying piecemeal round my head. So I will try to get them down, fill the gaps.