Friday, April 16, 2010


[NB: I edited my original post here for niceness. Because just because I THINK something, doesn’t mean I should always necessarily SAY it, at least not IMMEDIATELY, which is a lesson I do attempt, day after day, to learn.]

I remember this: We’re on top of active Nyiragongo. It’s barely five in the morning. We are soaked to the bone – our fingers are wrinkled from the puddles we slept in. Except we didn’t actually sleep, so our eyes are blurry, too. From exhaustion, cold, and shock, our teeth are chattering. The view stretching off to the hills of Rwanda and the wide lake of Congo is something none of us has ever seen. Our ears are filled with the sound of lava bubbles bursting in the glow of the red lake below our feet. And my colleague H pulls out a beaten up dirty plastic Kivu Maji bottle filled to the brim with Amarula. We pass that bottle around. We take big swigs. And then together, we have the courage to leap over the side of the cliff and to begin the sharp decent back to sea level.

I would love to have that bottle back now, and those people around me! Just one big swig before having to face the six-headed monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis – er, I mean, a phone job-interview – this afternoon.

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