So a new thing (for me) in Goma this year is the Attack of the Ginormous Grasshoppers and/or Praying Mantises (Mantisi?). I have to close my bedroom window/door every evening at sunset to keep them from invading my room. I am planning to conduct an experiment in whether they are afraid of the Wonder Chalk of Death, which I purchased from my Goma pharmacist last week (4 pieces for $1!) Yikes!
In other news, I spent the morning with the local equivalent of The Advisor. This professor is very nice and is getting me access to some great contacts. But. Within ten minutes, the professor directed me to change all my research questions and write up an introductory document by tomorrow. Which, of course, is Not Allowed - I have to stick to a set of questions that The Advisor and I agreed upon in order to have anything to show for all this research. I'm going to have to be clever to get my real questions in with her questions so I can actually have something to show for it.
There are soldiers like crazy all over Goma today, and MONUC has a helicopter circling pretty consistently. Today was the day that Nkunda was supposedly going to attack Goma. I'd imagine that 1) those were just rumors and 2) this is just a show of force coordinated by MONUC and the army to assure the population that Goma would be stable in the event of an attack. I'll write more later.