Our awesome CLO and Kinshasa’s awesome CLO(s) organized a sand bar trip this weekend. They brought tables, chairs, tent, grill, food, and beach games, the Marines brought drinks for sale, and we met up in the middle of the Congo River on a sand bar island. The water is shallow and relatively safe enough for the kids to swim and play in the sand. Everyone told me there weren’t any crocodiles there, but I was watching Lily like a hawk, ready to tackle a croc should it show up.
We started the adventure at Mami Wata, where there is a (very busy) boat launch. There were dozens of other people piling into boats and on to skidoos to head out to other sand bars along the river. Our boat arrived, we piled in, and took a nice cruise about 30 minutes upriver to join the party.
The sand was clean! The water was relatively clean; it was a rust color, which is likely from sediment. The river is extremely high right now because of the rainy season (it’s the height of the rainy season). There were little fishing villages scattered across the adjacent sand bars, and lots of people in dugout canoes, fishing. There were great views of both Kinshasa and Brazzaville, off in the distance. We were told to bring our passports, because we weren’t entirely sure which country the sand bar was actually “in”.
I used the occasion to splurge on some deli turkey I saw at the grocery store. It was like $8 for maybe a 1/2 pound of turkey. I made sandwiches for us: turkey for me, chicken salad for Ben, and peanut butter and jam for Lily (her new favorite food is a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich). We also found salt and vinegar potato chips, another treat. Between the sandwiches and the Heinekens from the Marines’ drink sale, it was a really nice picnic.