Monday, May 15, 2006

Of tuna, bad men and burnout

I noticed that I have been posting photos lately, so I decided to check out what photos I could find of Lubumbashi on the web. I still have not figured out the nature of the website where I downloaded these, but if its purpose is to convince people to come to Lubumbashi, I dare say they might have to step up the effort. These two photos are of two popular spots. the Brioche is a diner that has the best tuna sandwich in all of congo. It also has icecream. The photo with the pool is...well...the only public pool in town. It's at a bit of a rundown hotel that was probably once a nice hotel. It's a pretty popular weekend spot, but the water is green and the bottom is a bit fuzzy.

One chapter in the soap opera that is Katanga is coming to a close. Gedeon, the supreme bad guy who's been terrorizing the area with a small army of underfed (and many underage) congolese has now turned himself in. This is very good news and would be making headlines in many areas of the world if people were not so used to hearing about the mess that is africa. Other soap opera elements continue. this town has everything a true soap needs - a really rich man who has made millions upon millions (while he doesnt wear an eye patch, in the t.v. version i would give him one), ridiculously rich people who don't know what to spend their money on (begging the question of where a Hummer is more appropriate - suburban America or a third world country), and secret flights into the jungle (something tells me this is not a fishing expedition, as one pilot told us). Basically, an Africa mining town could be the next Days of Our Lives.

A few posts ago I talked about sticking around until December, but the tide is turning. I am planning a relief operation for 25,000 people, without a real office and pretty much living out of a dorm-styled room. I have had 4 days off in the last five weeks. This is no one's fault - opening an office is not easy and we're trying. Even so, tackling a new emergency program after one year in rural Congo (and eight months in Niger before that...) it just might be time for a break. I am displaying classic systems of burnout, except that i have not increased by alcohol consumption, which I resolve to change ASAP. Lcukily, they've got beer at the Brioche.


Blogger 007 in Africa said...

Hi there missy. Sorry I missed your phone call last night. I crashed and burned at about 9PM. Sounds like a wise plan to me :)

11:26 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

More booze is always a good plan!

And where do I sign up for the burnout club?

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Congogirl said...

At least the news made it to IRIN, and Livejournal has IRIN feeds, and anyone who reads my journal might know...

Be careful about the burnout, lady. Take some time away soon!

Annie made it to Kin so your hair goop should be there, I told her to leave it with Bokani.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Adventure Eddy said...

Goodbye Moderation!!!!

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Twin said...

Hope your latest decision to come home in a few months sticks. Colorado is waiting to cure all your burnout woes. It is hard to save the world from there, but easy to save your sanity.
A town where the term burnout has a totally different connotation, and starbucks gets the finger in favor of the local organic blend. Love you and miss you.

ps- Have a lukewarm Tuskar for me!

9:28 PM  
Blogger Taylor Walters said...

While the hotel pool is a bit run down, they do have a decent dance club downstairs that is hoppin through the night. Going crazy there now and then can help with the burnout.

What's the current gossip in Lubumbashi about the upcoming elections?


3:19 PM  
Blogger Mom said...

All I have to say is, let's hear it for burnout! Just really anxious for you to get out of Africa (hey, that would be a good movie title, don'tcha think?) while you're still in one piece. Hurry home! We love you!

5:14 AM  
Blogger TheMalau said...

Ah Miss Sarah, Congo needs you, but it needs you sane. So if it takes you leaving Congo to regain it, then I agree with your Mom (but maybe not exactly for the same reasons)...

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:30 AM  

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