"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

6.30.2007

le tronte juin

It's the 30th of June, which means it's Independence Day here in Congo. One of the national news stations (the one that presents itself as hip, young, and pro-Joseph Kabila) has a live remote in Kisangani, where the bulk of today's festivities are occuring. The news setup is one of the funniest things I've ever seen - they're set up like the Today Show at the Macy's parade, and are making gushing comments about independence, the president, and all the events.

I'm laughing at the coverage, but this year's independence day is serious for the Congolese. Not only does it mark the 47th anniversary of Congo's independence from Belgium, it's also the first independence day since Congo became (technically) a democracy. Hopes are high, and disappointment that little has changed is growing. It's sure to be an interesting day.

So naturally, I'm going to Kigali. Today turns out to be the only good day for me to head up there to take care of some errands. Such is life. My dream of being on the Boulevard du 30 Juin on le 30 Juin will have to wait for another year.

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