Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Day of December

My direct supervisor has been away, so I’ve had a desk – her desk – for the last week. Now that she is back, I am back out on the porch. There’s a terrible noise coming from our next door neighbors today. At first we thought it was an out-of-shape generator and were confused, because city power is on. But it’s a paint compressor.  They are spray-painting bits of airplanes (the sides, a wing) in their back yard, next to where the clothes of the pilots are drying.

I want to go up on an airplane and soar above the green glory of this land.

Today I am annoyed because I think that everybody has a desk except for me, everybody has a steady salary except for me, and everybody gets to go into the field to see programs every week except for me. It’s not true, and it’s not fair of me to be frustrated like this, but I don’t care and I am. Mainly about the field.  I want to go back into the field. I get sick to death of Goma, Goma, Goma, traveling from compound to compound to compound.  And not even on motorcycle taxis.


Afternoon and I am less grumpy. I went to lunch at the cantina in one of the UN office buildings (UNOPS) with some friends. It was fun. I had boiled and salted banana and potato. Delicious. We had strong French press coffee on a balcony overlooking two MONUC quarters (Indian and South African), an FDLR DDR center, and the lake. Our host told us how this entire neighborhood had been wiped away in a day in 2003 when the volcano exploded, except for the remnants of one brick building which we could see in front of us. What now looks like the first floor of that building was at one time the second floor, fifteen feet high. Our entire world is built upon two meters of hardened lava.