When I was in the States I could walk free drive free. Here I have drivers again. Some things here are totally liberated and some things are very secure. For example, when you go to drive go-karts, the bottom of your car is checked with a mirror for bombs – but at other times you can walk through gardens, ‘round fountains, past sculptures. Alone.
Some NGOs keep their staff locked up in a compound unable to leave without serious guards. Some NGOs let their people run throughout town. Security experts make approximately two billion USD a month for their salaries. Security experts have a vested interest in making other people believe that this city is dangerous so that they remain employed. They are all men. They are well-to-do. They get into scrapes.
In a few weeks, I will get to go to a neighboring country and receive security training.
When I read the news about Goma, North Kivu, it sounds as if the atmosphere is heating up. It is scary. Here, with the weather at 120° Fahrenheit, things are cool. We are going rug shopping tomorrow. We are going to a quiz-night at a local pub. I am worried I might be jinxing myself, but: I like my job so far. It’s interesting. It’s busy but it’s engaging. I have responsibilities.
Thinking about living in one singular place for a whole year is outrageous but does not seem impossible.