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    Helping the Girls of the Congo: Part Five (Saturday)

The below text was sent from the Mayo team currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

"We arrived at the Bujumbura airport from Nairobi. We were so relieved to see our six large boxes of medical supplies unloaded intact from the plane. A huge thank you to Dr. Emanuel Trabuco and Paula Boos who so carefully packed, measured, and weighed each box to maximize the equipment we could bring and comply with airline requirements. Since we arrived at 1:00 a.m., we had to wait for daylight to travel to DRC, so we were grateful to have a place to stay in Bujumbura for the morning. Then Bercky and Benge, who work with Dr. Mukwege at Panzi hospital, arrived to pick us up in two cars. We crossed the border into Rwanda (after a long wait and some serious financial persuasion). We were surprised by the green valleys surrounded by mountains in every direction. The roads were lined by hundreds of people of all ages on bicycles carrying heavy loads of logs or grasses tied behind the seat. Many hours later, we crossed a bridge into DRC (after another long wait and some more serious financial persuasion). We then drove into Bukavu, one of the largest cities in southeastern Congo, which had a population of 200,000 when the wars began. Now, the population has swelled to a million due to Congolese from remote villages flooding into Bukavu to escape the violence in the rural areas. Amidst occasional pockets of aging villas from Belgian colonial days are hastily constructed wooden shacks filling every possible space."

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