12 hours flight to Amsterdam, 11 hours flight to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda then 7+ hours of car drive to Bukavu, one of the big cities at eastern Congo right next to the border.
The initial plan for me is flying into Lulimba, Kimbi the project I should spend more time to coach the national doctors but as there is only 1 flight per week on Wednesday and I just missed it, so instead of waiting for a whole week doing nothing, I volunteered to go by car to the nearer project in Baraka and do some assessment first, so today is another 8 hours of car movement starting at 6am as we want to arrive as early as possible and avoid traveling after the light fade out.
The first part of the road going through the city of Bukavu is terrible as there're lots of potholes on the road surface probably due to previous bombardment and they are not repaired up to now, so one need to drive really slowly to avoid these potholes. Once outside the city the first 2 hours we are still driving on bumpy dirt road and it was tiring with all the shaking and rocking. The road goes up the mountain with a nice view of the river bordering Rwanda and DRC. Then we descended all the way down to the valley.
There the road improved a little bit. We stopped at a hospital in Uvira where we unloaded some of the supplies which we are supporting the hospital.
From there on, we went for another 3 hours with the car going down and through several stream beds before we arrived at the coast of Lake Tanganyika; so now I understand why MSF always uses cars like jeeps. The lake view is stunning, if it's in a developed country, definitely it will be a great tourist attraction and important harbour centre to countries on the other side of the lake, like Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania but now it only has a small port for that purpose and not to mention the use for tourism. So for me it's rather sad to know that this country is with so many natural resources yet the civilians are not benefited from it. And worse, life is so hard in this eastern part with the continue violence that seems never ending.
I will stay in Baraka for 2 nights and then it will be another 4 hours car movement to Lulimba my next project site where I would spend most of my time; so it's a long road!