|escrito por Sascha Grabow & translated by Dieter Grabow (german), Takeshi Tajima (japanese)|
|Wednesday, 11 de April de 2012|
En un país normal te preguntan: “¿Cómo estas?”
… En el Congo te preguntan: “¿Qué hay en tu valija?”
Llegué a la República Democrática del Congo el 7 de Febrero de 2009, desde Zambia, por una Buena ruta. Un guardia fronterizo musulmán quería sacarme $20 extra, pero despues de convencerlo de que iba a volver a Lusaka a investigar en la embajada sobre esta práctica, gentilmente me dejó pasar. Poco después conseguí que me llevaran en un jeep Pajero, y en dos horas, a través de una ruta excelente, estabamos en Lubumbashi, la segunda ciudad más grande del país y capital de la provincia de Kananga. La policía, con sus brillantes uniformes azules y amarillos no nos hizo ningún problema en el camino. En la ciudad me las arreglé para quedarme en el Centro Cristiano Don Bosco, gente MUY amigable! Conocí una pareja de expatriados de Alemania y Zimbabwe, me relajé seis días más, buscando información y preparándome para el viaje tierra adentro. Mi plan era viajar por tierra hasta la parte superior del río Congo, y desde ahí en barco hasta Kisangani (con algunas bajadas por los rápidos del camino). Eran unos 500Km a Bukama por río, pero mis planes de hacer dedo fueron aniquilados por la falta de trafico. En promedio, pasaba un auto cada cuatro días (¡!), o era pasado por mi, yendo a pie, a medida que los camiones se estancaban en el barro, o se rompían en la ruta, por lo que caminando iba más rápido que en camión. En total necesité diez días para llegar, y mis pies quedaron a la miseria para ese entonces. Me había hecho amigos en un corto viaje en camión, los últimos veinte kilómetros que faltaban para la ciudad, por lo que, a pesar de que un barco salía el día siguiente, decidí esperar a NUESTRO barco, uno en el que ya conocíamos al capitán, y salía la mañana siguiente ...
Después aqui no hay traducción disponible. El siguiente es el original.
Big mistake!! The trip was postponed day after day, the captain waiting for more cargo, and by the time he was ready, police had become so interested in me that it was impossible for me to leave; they wanted to see special 'interior travel' permits and bring me back to Lubumbashi on their motorbike (of course me to pay the gas/petrol for the trip) to get the paperwork there from the head of police Katanga province. That night I phoned a friend, head of UN Katanga, and we kind of said that ANYTHING BUT coming back would be the right course of action, it would just be too frustrating. "Check the Walls!" ... I'm telling myself ... planning my escape from this Congo "Hotel"-prison! I couldn't sleep all night, and at 3.30 a.m. I decided that I would escape the hotel, jumping the 2.50 meter toilet wall at the back of it with all my backpack and gear on, then quickly proceeding through the market square and onto the railway brigde, when I saw that I was already followed by someone with a strong, bright torch, some guard or what. I hid behind a post of the bridge and then quickly crossed, then continued on the rail track, so that they would be incapable of following me with the motorbike. I heard some more barking of dogs, but when I had brought about sixteeen kilometer between me and the town, I started believing that I had made it out of their grip. I slept in a tiny village along the track, in a mudhouse that they offered to me. My diet consisted mostly of bananas, sugarcane, peanuts, dried maniok, oranges, lemons, pineapple... lots of vitamins, but not too much energy, causing me to loose weight quickly. Drinking here means purified river water or really any source you can find. On day number two, about sixty km from Bukama, when I had started to walk on the road again, thinking that by now it must be safe (and much more comfortable than the big stones on the rail track where there was always a chance that one would twist an ankle), I reached a bigger town around midday, and just sat down to peel an orange, when I heard a motorbike. I quickly jumped behind a door, and when the bike had passed, I took my bag and ran into the maize fields. I heard the bike coming back; he must have asked the people on the road if they had seen the white man, and of course everybody had! I couldn't believe he followed me sixty kilometers on their bike, the police station's, sole means of transport! I hurriedly walked into the outskirts of town, 90 degree towards the main road, looking for some place where I could hide, not too easy as all people naturally were suprised to see a white guy around here. Finally I saw a raw building as yet not inhabited, and just when the kids in front of it ran around the house to tell their friends that they had seen me, I jumped over the wall from the back into a window and hid in the last small room, the one that was meant to be the toilet probably, with only a small window. There I hid and tried to sleep some for about fifteen hours, hearing shouts of 'Muzungu, Muzungu' (white man) from time to time, and also the motorbike engine - a clear signal in this area where there are sometimes no cars or any engines for days that they were searching for me. At 2.30 in the morning I decamped and started to look for the road again, then continued to walk towards Kamina, a stretch with a lot of hills and forests. (This was still much easier of course than Monte Cristo had had it :-)
Overnighting had become always the same thing: Arriving late in a village when it was already dark, so that their secret police would not see me instantly and start asking all the questions, try to find some older person with some sense in them, and who still remembered the colonial area & contact with white people, sleep there (extremely tired as one was after 13 to 15 hours of walking, feet full of infected blisters and all), make them believe that one would be there at least another day to answer all the questiong to police etc, THEN leave 5 a.m. or not later than 5.30, so that by daybreak you had already covered too much distance for them to bother to follow you. This can be very tiring indeed over an extended period of time (in total it took me almost one month and 900 km to reach Mbuji Mayi in the heart of the Congo, with the only respite in between being the three-day-rest in Kamina that the very friendly Franciscan Monks from Croatia, stationed there since 26 years, afforded me.
UN helicopter eventually took me out of the diamond center that Mbuji Mayi is ...
to be continued ...