The Kinshasa Orchestra story reminded me of another link a friend sent me shortly after we moved to Congo that I couldn’t check out over there. It’s an NPR series about barging along the Congo River, the second-largest river in Africa after the Nile, and the most powerful one. In fact the hydroelectric potential of this river alone could supply enough electricity for all of sub-Saharan Africa. (Look at a map of Africa and superimpose a map of the USA over the Sahara Desert. Everything below it is sub-Saharan. That’s huge.)
The first story in this 5-part series gives a lot of information in a short time about the history of the Congo. There’s both audio (with some great music!) and text worthwhile to peruse for a good overview of the country. The rest of the stories talk more about what life is like for those on board the barge — some of whom have been there for weeks — and for the villagers living near the river. It’s a fascinating glimpse into a life very different from ours.