A Snatch of Nature


Since the DRC is really no place for tourists right now, we don’t really have the option to explore any of the forests or mountains that make this region so beautiful. Beni is several kilometers away from Virunga National Park and the Rwenzori mountains, which can be seen from Beni on a clear day. We are mostly confined to the town that offers only a few opportunities of repose from city life.  This past weekend I went with Jonathan, his kids, Lauren, and Jessica to an unknown little treasure of a park in Beni called Kwa Contable (I’m not sure if I’m spelling this right). It is several hectors of land that is owned by a wealthy man in Beni who decided to transform it into a park. The park is complete with man-made lakes and beach with boats and fishing, a volleyball net, a herd of cows, huts where it is possible to spend the night, and 24 hour power. It was nice to walk around in nature and not to be followed by a troop of local children. We also sat in a hut and enjoyed some Stoney’s imported from Uganda, a sharp ginger soda that I became fond of when I lived in Kampala. The most memorable moment of the day was when Jonathan ran off the path to what I know now to be a flame tree, pulled down a branch to pick off a bud, bit off the tip, and then sprayed the kids with it! Apparently it is something he learned growing up in Kenya. Of course we all had to try it!Mini Lake

One of the man-made lakes

Walking the foundations

Walking the foundations of a building

Flame Buds

Squirting the juice from a bud of a flame tree


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