Answers to Jesse,s Questions or A Website I Made in Microsoft Word
do you have the only motorized vehicle in this joint?
No. A few other NGOs have bikes, plus a few people (business owners, and government people). There is only one car, however. It belongs to the National Park.
where's the filling station for that?
We bring in the fuel on boats (dug out canoes specifically).
where are all those people going? is every person in town going from some point A to another point B?
Not really sure. They are all going to independent places; it just appears they are going to the same place. There are three roads (paths mostly) out of town, I was on one of them, so they were all kind of coming to town, but not really.
what are they going to do when they get there?
There are markets and stuff where people buy sell things in town. They also could just be visiting friends. There are no 9-5 jobs, so people do whatever whenever.
do they all hate you?
I hope not.
are you going to flex on your biker status to hook up w any of those hotties? girl at 3:04 looks like she might be nice.
No. The one with the blue bucket? There are better lookers in town.
do all the fowl scampering over the road belong to people? if so, how do you keep track of which ones are yours?
Yes, they all belong to someone. And honestly, I have no idea how they keep track.
are any of those clothes hanging out old championship tshirts for teams that didn't win?
Not that I've seen. But a lot of them are from New York, oddly. New York Salvation Army t-shirts. Even t-shirts with peewee sponsored kids teams (like The Lower East Side Bulldogs, and shit). Also, soccer teams, and College football teams.
why is this town so big?
They can grow a lot of food because it is basically like a giant greenhouse. Add with modern-ish medicine, but little birth control and you get big towns.
I didn't keep track of how many turns you made; is it a spiral? a square? a straight line?
I go straight for about 150m, then curb slightly left for about 45m, then turn right, and head that way for about 1.4km, then I take a left, and am going more or less straight (with a slight turn right) for about 9km, until I get to the air field and turn right. Here is a diagram (NOT to scale):
where do they poop?
There are drop toilets in behind the houses.
is there any pavement in the DRC?
Yes. But I live in an inaccessible region in the middle of the forest. This town is next to a national park, not in it.
are there roads to other places, or do you have to get everywhere in little planes?
You can take the road, but if you want to get anywhere, you probably need to go by boat. I could take a boat from in front of my house to Kinshasa and heading down river it would take about two/three days to get here (powered) and a few weeks by hand.
can most people read?
Many in the village can (men do more than women), but in the cities pretty much everyone is literate.
is there a school?
There are a few schools in village for different age groups. This is a big village. There are tiny villages too with no schools, where most people can't really read.
do you speak any languages they speak?
Pretty much everyone in Monkoto learns French by like 15. Kids only speak Lingala.
what's that bird that flies by?
The bird at the end is a kind of hornbill (like a toucan, but in Africa). This one is a less colorful version of Zazu, if you'd like.
did you teach them any white-people lawn games yet?
Not yet. BUT now I will.
are they too busy to play games?
They play soccer, and like a jump rope game, where one end is tied to something and stationary.
what do they do all day?
They work in the fields during the day when it needs to happen (not everyday). Otherwise, they have a pretty basic village economy, so some of them are merchants, some are fishermen, etc. The kids mostly just mill about all day. I'm not really sure when school is.
where is the agriculture?
It is outside of town. Usually, there is a small path going into the forest, and then it opens up into a big field.
is that a runway at the end, and if so, why are those people walking on it?
It is a runway. There is only one flight a week, so the people are walking on it because it is also a path. I was inspecting the runway on this trip, to make sure I could head out to Kinshasa for a conference (where I am right now).
is there something at the other end?
It ends and turns into forest.
you weren't on some sort of Leonardo da Vinci bicycle-helicopter the whole time, right?
No. Dirt bike then plane.
where does the electricity come from that lets you charge that camera?
Generator with diesel (shipped in), and solar.
how do you have internet? does anyone else have internet?
We have a satellite VSAT system set up. The two other NGOs have internet (RAPAC and WCS), plus the Park Rangers, and the Military.
do they hate you?
I don't think so.