Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There’s an active volcano in my backyard

I moved to Gisenyi on May 11, but my temporary house wasn’t ready until the 16th and then I left town for a permagarden training (more to come on that topic). Now I’ve had a chance to get settled a bit, although I’m still waiting on furniture.

Besides sharing the house with my sitemate, which is not ideal for my language development, local integration, or identity formation as a volunteer in Gisenyi, I love the location. The neighborhood children are wonderful, the neighbors in general seem nice, and this is the view from the chair in my room where I’m writing this:

That’s Nyiragongo, the active volcano that lies about 20km (12 miles) over the Congolese border (which is maybe half a mile from my house). Did I mention it’s active? It glows red at night, lighting up the smoke billowing from its plateaued peak. You can also see the big dipper in this picture:

The intensity and shape of the red smoke cloud change by the minute, providing me with endless after-dark entertainment. The novelty might never wear off.


  1. So cool that you can see not only the volcano but the Big Dipper in this picture!

  2. Wow. Absolutely amazing!

  3. The sky must be really clear if the stars glow that brightly! In Los Angeles we might see only six or eight stars in the entire sky! Gail

  4. We just had a nice visit fro your Mom and sister. I know Helen is looking forward to visiting you this summer or fall. I am envious of you and all you are doing. The day and night picture of the volcano is fabulous! Uncle Mike


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