Is it Safe?

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has long been known to be unsafe. There have been numerous wars, revolts and there is often local fighting. The statistics for eastern DRC are staggering with an incidence of rape and murder unseen in most of the world.

When I arrived, I was told that it is only safe to walk during the day and in areas with abundant foot traffic. The most strict rule is absolutely no walking anywhere after sunset. After dark the streets have been known to be dangerous with random acts of violence. Surprisingly, when we entered a local restaurant, Le Chalet, we were greeted by a sign saying no assault rifles.  I guess you must check your AK-47 at the door.

I have not experienced any hint of violence towards me yet.  On my walking expeditions down the main road I have encountered young children smiling, laughing and asking to hold my hand or for a hug. Local men and soldiers have stopped to say “hello” or ask about my life. When we left Le Chalet around 9PM in a vehicle, we drove past a group of young women with their children walking home.  So far, the DRC has been a very friendly and safe place to work.

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3 Responses to “Is it Safe?”

  1. David Becker Says:

    Hi Chris – it’s great to get to read your stories in near real-time. many of my own memories are flooding back as I imagine you there. i’m looking forward to reading more.

    cheers,
    David

  2. mercie Says:

    Chris,

    May God Bless You for the things that you do and I hope your girlfriend is doing well also. Your journey will be challenging but rewarding and Kique and I want to support you with words or what ever we can do from home.
    A co-worker of mine has asked that if you get involved with collection of funds for makeshift stoves or purifying water to let us know where we can send you the money directly. She has been doing this for a few years but would like to have a more direct contact. Let us know. Please be safe we want you to come home after your tour duty with the group of doctors.

  3. Francisco Acosta Says:

    Please be safe out there. I remember walking the streets of Baghad when i was in the military and everywhere i turned people stared thru their windows like i was a walking dead wish. I will pray for your safe passage there.

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