Of all the things that made this visit memorable, here is the top 10 list:
Simultaneously watching a World Cup game and a goat being chopped up at a local eating/drinking establishment.
Those whacky Bonobos and their pervy ways. "Pervy ways" included lots of monkey love and a very indecent act with some foliage and a deflated basketball.
Taking Frank to dinner at the Indian restaurant, Taj. Restaurant has a roof deck and great view of the city. Questionable safety on the elevator ride up. Questionable safety on the 8 flights of stairs down.
Eat at Nandos to show off DRC commercialization.
Frank enjoying the Congo nightlife via the nightclub Cheetah 2.
Traffic = horrible. In preparation for the 50th Anniversary of DRC Independence on June 30th, many of the roads are closed and/or under construction. We spent 6 hours in the car on the should-be-40-minute ride home from the airport. And Frank spent another 5+ hours in the car on the way back a couple days later. Brutal.
Trip to the Thieves Market. Large pile of burning tires (a step up from burning trash because of the thick black smoke). Henry bought a large carved staff (which, according to the seller, was "made for the tribal king"). Frank bought a mask. I bought a chubby wooden hippo.
Frank jumping off the boat into the Congo River.
Frank swimming in the Congo River and removing self from said river 20 seconds later.
The mere fact that Frank was even willing to give the Congo experience a try.
At present, the number of people who have come to hang out in Kinshasa, including Frank, is exactly 1. This makes Frank a rare commodity. Kinshasa is neither easy nor inexpensive to access and once you arrive, it's not like you are immediately enveloped in an embarrassment of riches. Quite the opposite actually.
Who's up next?
Photos by Frank!