You were right. I do not recognize Kisangani anymore. It is raining again today and I hear outside my window the echo of a single vehicle in the water. If Conrad thought civilization was an improvement, I do not think this is what he envisioned. The papers I can find talk about the socio-economic crisis, displaced populations and Kabila. Kabila is too far. The storm is much closer.
I have no idea if you are still nearby.
I can’t stop thinking back to the last time I was here with Corporal. It was a thing of chaotic beauty, the two of us rushing up opposing stairs, without time to set up a proper pincer or interlocking fire, with only the body of Mercerier’s lieutenant, materializing through the doorway, standing in the way of our extemporaneous bullets finding one another. That thought brought a smile to my face for so long, so far from home. I question at times whether I should be horrified that I find such a thing so wonderful.
Corporal would like the canoes here.
In Kisangani, the children are starving. When I can procure food, I pass it along to them. A convoy of provisions is on its way up the river though I am sure the magistrates in the capital have taken their share and that rebels are laying in wait for the prize. I have asked Ottawa for permission to assist the government and the NGOs protecting the convoy, and am awaiting a response. Unfortunately, I think other matters may require my attention.
The past few weeks have been rewarding. I have served as an armed escort to UNICEF, helped to fix vehicles as my limited skills permit and fished. Those who will farm here, attempt to do so. Others join with some militia or rebel group in hopes of an easier life. I think it is a desire for food which motivates rather than any strong political conviction.
If your target is moving this way, I will have them.
A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi,