Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
The rain is coming down. The sky dark and grey. Surrounded by volcanic remains in a town full of horror, I am enveloped and even comforted by the gloomy weather.
Goma is a town of fluctuating population, people come and go when fighting in the surrounding areas fills the IDP (internally displaced persons) camps with those fleeing roving gangs of machete-bearing militia.
The town lies beneath Mt. Nyamuragira, an active volcano that destroyed much of the town in 2002. Mt. Nyamuragira‘s lava flowed freely from its cone cutting the town in two, most people fleeing with only their lives, families separated and all belongings lost.
And yet the Congolese of Goma continue. They move back into the second story of a building where the first is now lava flow or build a new hut on top of the old. They carry on with their lives, in laughter and prayer, finding joy in their very existence. Their strength and perseverance inspires me.