19 december


They are about 380 kilometers, not many, but there is dirt road and according to George, father responsible for the Augustinians of the Congo in Kinsasha, the road is very dangerous. So I leave at six in the morning, it is very cloudy and it seems that it can rain at any moment. To get to the border there are about sixty kilometers. The road is quite good, some challenging but not too long stretches of dirt road, many holes on the asphalt, even large ones. Arrival at the Angolan border with a flood of people, trucks, mopeds, people on foot, many. I settle in front of the gate, in fact it is half past seven and the border opens at eight. Many guys come close and ask me for information, and with a little Spanish, a little Portuguese, a little English we can explain ourselves. A policewoman approaches and takes me to the border. All the cops are very nice. Quickly I get through the paperwork and head for the Congo border. Getting to Kinsasha is the first stop in the area that I consider “red”, that is, dangerous in all senses, from the Congo to Benin. A large number of people, a flood. At the immigration office, I already have a visa, they make me wait for almost an hour, then, everything is ok, we go to the custom, for the carnet de passage. They make me wait, there is a meeting in progress and it cannot be disturbed, a lot of very young boys approach me and ask me where I come from and where I am going. After half an hour the commander calls me into his office welcoming me. He calls a young policeman and reproaches him by saying that I am a tourist and must be treated well, the tourist must have a nice impression of the Congo. Good for me, in ten minutes I’m off the border. The first twenty kilometers are unpaved, but it has not rained, so you travel well. Crossed the national road, I head towards Kinsasha. Along the way there are many small villages, shops, people selling everything, mechanics, even barbers. On the side of the road there are several carcasses of abandoned vehicles, trucks, burned and damaged cars. The road is beautiful for a hundred kilometers and then for another hundred full of holes. The last few kilometers before arriving in Kinsasha are quite good. I’m tired, I haven’t slept much tonight, I can’t wait to get there. Entry and arrival at the Augustinian mission center is a delusion. Kinsasha is a capital with twelve million inhabitants, from what I have noticed all on the street. I have never seen such traffic, even in Nairobi, New Delhi or Saigon. With the help of a boy, who gets on the back seat of my bike, I arrive after two and a half hours at the mission center. I’m really tired. Eric welcomes me, a black boy who studies to become an Augustinian priest. He is very kind, and after taking a shower he accompanies me to make a phone card, so I communicate at home about my arrival. You have dinner early and I am dead tired at eight am already in bed, tomorrow you go to the Cameroon embassy.