Saturday, June 12, 2010
Bonobos DR Congo
Our work in Congo is coming to an end. Our first team leaders left today to return to the States after lunch. We spent some time shopping in a local market…WOW what an experience. There were so many wonderful things being sold…wooden carvings, money from Zambia (former Congo), baskets, parrots, monkeys, carved rocks and minerals, masks, figurines and paintings. There were so many vendors and when they see Americans they assume you are spending a fortune. After shopping we drove across Kinshasa to the edge of the city to the Bonobo refuge. What a treat to see these orphans in action! They were so adorable! As soon as we arrived they greeted us with loud screeches. After a few photos one Bonobo excitedly started running, wanting us to follow. He led us (one side of the fence) and the entire community he lived with (on his side of the fence) down a path. They screeched and played and rolled around. It was very entertaining. One older Bonobo had a smashed plastic coke bottle. He ran it along the ground (like a toddler would with a toy car) for our entire hour long visit at the refuge. An interesting fact…Bonobos only live in the DR Congo. The Congo River separates them from the Republic of Congo. They will not cross the river. The refuge has a river running through it and the water is used as a boundary. An unforgettable afternoon! We spent dinner along the Congo river at a restaurant that overlooked the rapids. Tonight everyone is packing up. The bulk of the team will start the “leaving process” after church tomorrow. Bags have to be checked in downtown before arriving at the airport, exit fees need to be paid and there are no electronic tickets in Kinshasa. It takes all day to get out. We are leaving Monday morning for Ethiopia and are getting excited about our time there too.