Corona Crisis, Nature Strikes Back, Coltan Congo's Curse - Chapter 6

Perilous Moves As with all plans, they usually appear easier in one’s head than executed in real life. Marc and Luc were on their way through Tanzania, while Serge and I started the long trek along the trail that was as crowded as if we were driving on the M25 through London during rush hour. Bearers, transporters on foot, some carrying more than their own weight in minerals on their heads or shoulders, soldiers, groups of women offering food, boys, men and animals walked along the trail in droves, while oncoming traffic often needed to halt to let others pass because the path was quite narrow. It was hot and humid. My clothes stuck to my skin. I wore a hat and boots that were supposed to be guaranteed waterproof, but after a few kilometres, my feet were soaked from the muddy track. I felt like an ant following a stream of other ants through the bush. My backpack was quite heavy as I needed to carry the remainder of the cash myself. If others had known I was carrying so much mone

Corona Crisis, Nature Strikes Back, Coltan Congo's Curse, Chapter 5

  Going Back Every time I stepped on board an airplane going south to Africa, I had a sense of going home. Don’t ask me why, but that was how I felt. The excitement of adventure, the wilderness of dark Africa, the non-existent laws, everyone out for himself. Was this not the origin of the human species? Hadn’t our Western world become too regulated, too organised, leaving little room for creativity or independence? Was it good for humankind that the internet was following every step you made? Big Brother ? A well-balanced life would need human morality. When I mentioned that to Luc and Marc, they almost laughed their heads off. ‘Ethics? Goodwill? Are you serious? In Africa? Africa is about who gets what,’ they vehemently agreed. I remember sighing deeply and had to admit it; they were probably right. It was easy to be a holy man on top of a mountain, like Somerset Maugham wrote a century ago, and perhaps he was right. Business ethics in Goma? Human ethics near Lake Kivu or Kigali?