Monday, January 26, 2009

Malaria, the Rebels, and English

So to break the news, Emily has Malaria. She started feeling poorly a couple of nights ago and I thought immediately that it was probably the disease, as it seems to infect everyone in our town at some point. She is on meds and doing quite well, and should be back in action soon. Now all I need to do is go the last few weeks without contracting it!

The Rwandan troops, working with Congolese government troops, just caught the notorious leader of the Congolese rebels, Laurent Nkunda. This is big news here. Nkunda is responsible for a huge number of atrocities all across the northeast region of Congo where we live, things too terrible to write about, so this comes as a huge relief for many. The problem however is two-fold. First, there are still 6,500 Rwandan rebels hiding in the hills in our region, along with a huge number of Congolese rebels loyal to Nkunda. The question is, will these troops surrender now that Nkunda is captured, or will they fight on? Secondly, there are still large numbers of Rwandan troops in the northwest region, and for the most part people here don't trust them. These troops have sent Nkunda to Rwanda, but have refused to say if they will send him to the Congolese capital to stand trial for treason and crimes against humanity. So the issue is complex, but everyone agrees that life is better with Nkunda behind bars.

Finally, I am beginning my English course on reading tomorrow. I am teaching four hours tomorrow, four on Thursday and four on Friday. Then I teach all next week. Wow. The teaching load is a bit more than I was counting on, and I would be lying if I said that I know what I am doing, but nevertheless those students will be taught four hours a day for the rest of the week. What exactly they will be taught I don't know, but they will be taught. Oh the joys of being forcefully removed from your comfort zone and thrust in front of people!

For a cool map of the violence around Congo and our location, along with my travel around the world, go here.

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