Tuesday, September 30, 2008

In Congo for the First Time

I'm blogging about my first-time experience in Congo over at Hope for Congo. Thanks for clicking through to read it there. Here's a teaser:

Debarking the plane at the airport in Kinshasa spilled us onto the tarmac. The sun was hot here, just south of the equator. The concrete was brown with oil and grease. I wondered if it was sticking to the bottom of my sandals. We followed the other passengers toward a building marked “Aeroport de Ndjili.” We formed two lines at the doors. Uniformed officer were reviewing passports and yellow cards. Unlike the States, diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and typhoid are realistic dangers. We had to show that we had taken precautions. They handed our papers back and stepped aside to allow us up the three steps into the building. Inside out of the sun, we stood in a second line in front of what looked like an old-fashioned theater box office, wooden with a plate of glass and a slot for papers (and cash, if it came to that). Behind it were the immigration officers. At that point, the first set of officers seemed to have no clear purpose, quite unnecessary in fact.

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