HandUp Congo director, Linda James, is thrilled to receive fellow directors, Lucy Hobgood-Brown and Jacky Gendre, along with two other members of the team in Congo! (See photo below.) Yes, Linda is now based in Kinshasa at the Congo Protestant University (UPC) as a Development and Communications Consultant. She landed on January 19 to settle into the craziness that is life in Kinshasa!Even though her checked bags, aka big plastic bins with her life-for-year inside, decided to stay in Paris a couple of extra days, they arrived safely and she is settling in nicely. Like all native Kinois (Kinshasa resident), she carries two phones so that if one telecommunications carrier is not working, the other should be operational. There does not seem to be any such thing as a home phone. Her fingers are always crossed that the internet is connected, not to mention the electricity and running water! After awaking to the sound of roosters crowing, the morning walks in the neighborhood are a delight – the air is cool before the humidity of the day sets in.
January 21 was her first day on the job at the University, at which point, she immediately launched in to coordinating the visit to the University by Nobel Laureate, Dr. Peter Agre, and his colleague, Dr. William Moss, from Johns Hopkins. Dr. Agre, the Director of the Malaria Research Institute at Johns Hopkins, traveled to Congo to spend time at the University and to look for opportunities to collaborate on malaria research initiatives. (See photo below.) Their stay included: a reception at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence, a 6,000 person conference, a 1,000 person scientific conference, a meeting with the Minister of Health, a meeting with the Head of President Kabila’s Cabinet, and of course, a trip to see the Bonobos. Drs. Agre and Moss were extremely pleased with what they saw and look forward to continuing discussions.
Stay tuned as our directors continue with their travels!