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Woman’s Group Meeting
Woman’s Group Meeting, Kinshasa.

It’s true, and pharmacy viagra I don’t know how I feel about it. I was in a kind of compound before, where if I wanted to go out for a beer I would have to take a Congolese boy with me and we would walk on splintered pavement in the pitch black. Occasionally he’d throw his hand out because a car threatened to run me down. Then we’d get to a tiny shop with no lights on and ask for beer. Inside the cramped generic-cialis4health.com space was littered with imported rice and flour, and I would sometimes see the long tail of a rat disappear into cinder block. Two warm beers and a walk back full of broken English and French conversation. He would tell me, “American boys are gooood, because they have this,” rubbing his fingers together to denote fingers cialis 20 mg cut in half full of cash. I would try to explain that this was first of all not true and that Congolese boys had plenty to offer. He looked viagra online in australia confused, “No, you would not marry a black man?” “Aren’t viagra jokes you racist?”, and then I’d

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laugh a lot at him and he’d sort put the pieces together that I was in Congo by choice and walking with a black boy in the night. I don’t know, I just slept all day and now I’m awake until morning. In any case, I’m back, and missing my friends.

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Swahili lesson: Unataka kuchuliwa? = Do you want a massage? Tulia, samba! = Easy, lion!

Sarah Enid and Congolese School Girls
Sarah Exports the Peace Sign

I’m still in Kinshasa. I missed the earthquake in the East by a matter of days. Somehow, I forgot to factor natural disasters into the list of possible dangers. Here, in the capitol, my bad education continues. Over the past week I’ve met with high school girls, college students, parliamentary officials, women’s groups, a local private television station, and a priest. My list of fragmentary knowledge grows. Here are a few examples: There is a culture of NGOs in Congo which have been described as the New Colonialism. The only people with jobs in this country are those working for NGOs. Every other vehicle in this smog choked city belongs to the UN. They have a sweet set-up and they do nothing. They do nothing. They know where rebel groups viagra reviews comments are located. cialis how long to work They know everything about the Interhamwe’s whereabouts and doings. But instead they just act as a fat parasite, leeching like every other outsider who has their hand in Congo’s honey pot. Meanwhile, the Chinese are offering Congo a huge chunk of change so they can get at the resources. Congo’s belly is swollen with oil, as it turns out. So if you know Congo only for its diamond mines, well this puppy has resources beyond belief and EVERYONE wants some.

OMG

On the equally frustrating social scene I’ve learned that many of the rape victims in the East are ostracized because people in the village believe that they are cursed, or even that they somehow asked for it. Across the country there is a huge problem with sexual violence and general oppression of women. The high school girls I talked to told me that their teachers are always trying to get them to sleep with them and often their grades depend on it. And the real frustrating part is that when violence and oppression is the norm and there is also a huge problem with impunity many women don’t even think about their rights, or that there really is such a thing as women’s rights. I’m really glad I’m not a radical feminist because I’d likely get all, “I’m GOING TO CRUSH SOME SKULLS!!”. And I am wildly angry, but I have met is there a generic viagra a lot of women who are trying to re-educate people about some pretty basic human rights issues. So, there is at least faction attempting to influence basic awareness. If I come back to Congo again I have been asked to appear on a local private television show, they are going to have a special program. Yeah, hilarious and possibly a disaster, but in any case we’ll get that shit up on youtube. Barring any last minute disasters, I will fly out of Kinshasa on Sunday and be back in SF the 16th. It’s so strange here and I’m really going to miss it. The traffic is the worst. I’ve never had so many near misses in my is viagra blue life, and he roads themselves are really just a series of kiddie pool sized pot-holes. There are vendors of everything, in fact they stand on the side of the street canadian pharmacy online hydrocodone and

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hold out puppies to passing cars, Puppies. They sell crocodiles in the market and I also saw a monkey just tied to some log. We have been lucky to have electricity and running water almost every day. Often power lines get cut and stolen to be sold. I ate a pile of caterpillars, they tasted good. Oh, crocodile tastes like fishy chicken.

Sewing Circle

Okay, I think that covers the basics for now. Oh, here is a Konono #1 video so you can see what Kinshasa looks like:

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Sarah in Kinsasha with an Congolese Police dude

I have avoided writing about my trip because I don’t really understand it. I experienced my first real culture shock when I landed, maybe not because Congo is so different than I expected, rather because it’s just as it promised it would be. It met me with green haunty hills and gashes of jungle and the twisting spine of the Congo River, and then we landed and it was havoc.

Kinshasa has a post apocalyptic quality that I have now gotten used to, but at first, after flying for days I was out of my body out of my mind.

Congo is, well I’m having a hard night so I hesitate, but I mostly want to say, terrifying and fucked, but I will re-frame by saying that it is blood stained for generations, and the whole country suffers from post traumatic stress– they are survivors. Everything seems corrupt and in perpetual quagmire. A kingdom of ghost and guns. Everyone is stunning.

For now I will just give you some disconnected highlights that make even less sense to me than they will to you:

I learned that my travel companion was hit by lightning when he was a child and smoke came out of his mouth.

I watched TV with Kabila’s (the assassinated president) vice-president. Er . . . The former president had four vice presidents, and I hung out with one of them. His slipper fell off at one point and I put it back on his foot. In his office I saw a photograph of him with Che and another with Mao, and then we ate some chicken.

We were in Goma during the big Congo Peace Conference, and when our plane landed one of our interpreters turned to me and said, “You know, there are rebel groups no less than 40 kilometers from here”. The conference was deadlocked for a few days and in the end I fear that paper signing is the last thing that will do this country any good.

I crossed Lake Kivu, which rests upon a layer of natural gas, one crack in the basin and the whole lake would explode and the surrounding region would be suffocated by the gas. Seriously, they have exploding lakes here.

Laurent Nkunda Tutsi General from Rwanda

Eastern Congo, really. We had a police man from the presidential guard when we went outside of the city into the villages in the Walungu region. I just found out today that there had been another rebel raid on a village in Walungu while we were there. We don’t know where exactly, they could have been on the other side or it could have been a few miles away. Yes, pretty much scary, but I knew this going in.

I was able to interview a few women, rape victims, in Walugu, and interestingly I actually met and interviewed the same woman that was in that Anderson Cooper thing I sent you. I don’t really know what to tell you about this. It was disturbing, of course, but really my brain is only allowing a little of this information to register at a time.

The next day we were invited to a gun exchange in which a local organization was trying to get villagers to trade in their weapons for useful items like tin roofing or bicycles. It failed; no one would show because this would be a public admittance of being a thief and rapist. I didn’t think it was a realistic plan, but I was there to bear witness anyway. The army was there and then the UN showed up. In this region the UN is made up of a bunch of terrifying Pakistani men that ride around in jeeps. They were like, what are you

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white people doing here in this village in Eastern Congo?

A fine question.

And then I left the jungle and now find myself back in sweltering Kinshasa. I am trying to follow what is and has been going on in this country since the war. I now understand that Rwanda is trying to carve out a piece of Congo, and that the Interhamwe were once found eating UN food. I don’t know!

shitfuckmutherfuckingjesuschristbaby

ok.

Anyway, I’m safe still but pretty well frustrated and misanthropic. Well, no, not completely, but if you want more details I’ll try my best to pull together the fragmented mess that i know and have gathered from my time so far. I will be here for two more weeks, more interviews and filming and then I will pull myself from the motherlands dark loins and return to our white bitch of a country.

I am missing everyone something awful and I feel so so far away. But, all this said, I wouldn’t trade a moment in Africa for anything.

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Almost a year ago now I was trying to do fancy-pants blog dance. I broke two posts, was really stumped and eventually gave up, leaving these gems to the dashboard and suspecting foul play. Today for whatever reason I quickly and efficiently corrected the technical glitches.

Here’s a pretty sarcastic one about demagogues.

This one’s about immigration with a little taste of a slice of my life–it’s so meringue my harangue it’s like the ice on your wife.

Sweet baby.

PS: An interesting epilogue to all of

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The tactile, aural and sensual pleasures of an imagined Europe–the “old” Europe,

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the “quaint” Europe–hearken back to a simpler time when a tennis match followed by a few cigarettes and some chocolate did not strike anybody as incongruous. Nor did the French-Algerian fiasco strike terribly many among France’s leadership as a bad idea.

I heard about Michael Moore’s Sicko and it made me think about the avarice and heartlessness of the pharmaceutical industry. But medicine’s ideals and its practitioners’ egos and financial interests historically run into conflict. Among the unseemly scientists the US welcomed in the aftermath of World War II is a large number of medical scientists (somehow “doctor” seems like the wrong term for someone who has performed vivisections on healthy humans) handpicked from the Enemy’s unprotected stock.

The data gleaned from Japanese and German biology enthusiasts, gleaned from the suffering of Chinese people and Jewish people has found applications and formed background information for our military institutions. Perhaps at some later date our rummaging around in this particularly filthy cookie jar will pay off in a way that gives us the moral high ground.

In the meantime, keep thinking about the crisp slacks, crystalline haircuts and non-ironic donning of large sunglasses that visually defines America, circa-first half of the cold war, for many people. Imagine the Pacific Northwest decades ago, already tampered with but pristine in comparison with today.

Washington–which shares a name and little else with that back-east cellar of serpents where money and death are allotted in accordance with popular will and influence–represents a convergence of natural beauty and people in big sunglasses. It was also the site of government sponsored radiation experiments carried out on an unwitting populace.

Don’t worry, I’m not in a militia. Here’s a link to a government Web site. Basically the government was dumping radiation out of planes onto populated areas, you know, to see what would happen. When Clinton took office, he didn’t have all that goddamn Reagan, Nixon, Bush, intelligence agency baggage and did a lot for improving the transparency of government, hence the existence of the site.

It would be nice to say, “Well, lesson learned, I’m glad this is all behind us.” Go ahead and click on the Search HREX Archives link found on the page noted above.

Proceed to have the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

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