Tuesday 4 February

I spend the first day of my stay in DRC in Goma. Catching up with Maarten, Virunga’s Finance Director, and getting to know the Finance, Logistics and HR teams. After an afternoon in the office we go to the lake house. Goma used to be an idyllic town next to Lake Kivu, before it grew out to a million+ inhabitants’ settlement. It is a pretty horrible city, if you ask me.

Nevertheless, along the lakeshore, some lovely (mainly “mzungu” – the word for white people) places are to be found. The garden is absolutely gorgeous: tropical plants, colourful flowers, fruits, reptiles, exotic birds. And… mosquitos. We go out for dinner at “Petit Bruxelles”. A restaurant run by three Congolese women, two of them are sisters and one looked very trendy. Cosy atmosphere and decent food. A place to recommend in crazy Goma**.

** Places to be in Goma
Coco Jamba (good veggie burger for lunch), Bodega (I like the live music on Saturday evening) and le Chalet (beautiful “beach” for the Sunday afternoon) are other nice places.

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