I live in Kinshasa but sometimes I leave it.
For example, I have now made it to Nicaragua, where I am from on my mother’s side.
The trip was long but worthwhile.
I am able to see family members I had not seen in many years including my grand mother.
I forget sometimes how beautiful it is here and the family members that I leave behind and whom I almost forget when I am in Kinshasa.
It’s crazy to think that one can go from the DRC to Nicaragua in a few days and almost move into another universe – with other realities, other problems, other daily struggles.
With the COVID crisis, I was stuck in the DRC for almost 2 years. The long stay made the journey truly special.
I came to Nicaragua to visit my grand mother.
She is a strong and independent woman who never married but had one daughter, my mother. She built her own life by working hard to build her own businesses even after earthquakes, revolutions, coups, and economic instability from the 1950s to the 2000s in modern day Nicaragua. She is now old but still has a will of iron and fights to keep a brave face despite daily difficulties.
Even after many years separated by huge distances, she loves her child (my mother), son-in-law (my father) and her three grandchildren. For your information, the trip from the D. R. Congo to Nicaragua can take up to 72 hours (3 to 4 flights). These are flights that she had taken every 2 or 3 years since her daughter moved away more than 30 years ago.
She is from Jinotega, a small coffee-growing town in the north of Nicaragua, but moved to Managua to work and raise her daughter who went on to study in Canada and then worked and settled in the D. R. of Congo with her husband and 3 kids.
Of course, as her grandson, I will be eternally grateful for her sacrifices and the bravery she has shown to beat the challenges life has thrown her way.
Here are a few pictures of some of the people and places I have seen over here.