Fellows Blog Posts by jsoleani

Aug 4, 2009

By: John Soleanicov, KF8 DRC

Since the mid 1990s, war in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo has taken more lives than any other conflict since World War II.  Started in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, the war involved 7 African countries and more than 25 armed groups.  By some estimates, more than 5 million people lost their lives, many from illness and malnutrition.  As a result, eastern DRC  has also become notorious for the widespread use of rape by various parties as a weapon of war.

One of the main epicenters of the struggle, and site of...

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Jul 20, 2009

By: John Soleanicov, KF8 DRC

Nope, that’s not a misprint, nor an exaggeration.  You can find the source right  here.  Kinshasa comes in at number 6.  The first time I tried to go grocery shopping, I thought I had the exchange rate wrong.  $20 for a small piece of beef?  That can’t be right.  Well, it is.

Can this really be one of the most expensive cities in the world?

Home of the largest UN peacekeeping force in the world, the Democratic Republic of...

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Jul 1, 2009

By John Soleanicov, KF8 DRC

I could feel the beads of sweat rolling down my face.  Sitting in a makeshift police station under a tent, I was surrounded by three Congolese policemen and my accuser, a young man that could not have been past his mid twenties.  My crime: videotaping in public.


As I was returning from a group visit with Hope’s Kiva Coordinator, Robert, I wanted to capture the infrastructure realities of Kinshasa (more on this...

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Jun 22, 2009

Not long after my Kenya Airways flight slalomed into N’djili Airport, I began to hear the noise.  Drum beats.  Cheering.  Flag-waving masses of people.  “Wow,” I thought, “what a welcome.”  I had heard the Congolese were welcoming, but this is a bit over the top!

A Hero’s Welcome – Note the caravan of fans at the top right!

It turns out the ad-hoc parade wasn’t for me (Bummer!) but for the coach of one of the club football (soccer)...

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