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Zaire (R.D. Congo) (1990-1991)
my first job abroad !
my classroom ( which was destroyed later by a tornado );
Right, my 16 little
creeps and me on my Jeep Willys.
Jambo Bwana !
one year of preparation ( during my last year of College ), I had been selected
to go teach in Goma, Zaire ( now "République Démocratique du Congo"
Having packed all my stuff, I said "goodbye"
and took a plane to Kigali, Rwanda, where I landed one day after the Pope Jean-Paul
II. Another, way smaller "plane" ( hem ) took me across the country,
which I had the chance to admire through the holes in the plane's body ( the windows
where too dirty to see any of the 1,000 hills ).
miraculous landing, Patrick Lumes, a great Frenchie, picked me up and we crossed
the border to arrive in Goma, the same day as Mr. Mobutu and Mr. Mandela...
Ecole Privée à Programme Belge de Goma
days later ( instead of the ten days scheduled ), I found myself in front of
16 first graders ( instead of the fourth graders I was supposed to have
and for which I had brought 80 lbs of materials ). We spent a wonderful year,
9 nationalities being one of the most interesting assets you can have in a classroom.
friendship, the help and the good advice of Danielle Lebecq often allowed me to
cope with the little events we had : civil war, lootings, a
tornado destroying my classroom while I was in with the kids (no injuries),
earthquake, volcano eruption...
A beautiful country...
Nicknamed the "Grenier du
Zaïre" (Zaire's Attic) since everything
grows there without problem, food is cheap and abundant.
I often took my "beau tracteur rouge"
(my Jeep) to go see the wildlife, fish, or visit
the gorillas in the hills of Djomba.
Supposed to do my military service in
Belgium, I left reluctantly. I finally didn't have to
enroll, but if I had not left in a nice commercial plane,
I would have had to evacuate one month later in a C-130
with all the others...
page : My appartment
Page créée le 13 juin 1997 - Mise à jour le 13 juin 1997
Pierre Gieling - tous droits réservés