December 30, 2 PM
I woke up early today to explore Funchal. I talked with some of the native people here and I came to know that it is the capital of a region Madeira under the control of Portugal. But it is a famous tourist place fori ts high cultural and historical value. So I was eagerly wishing if we could spent our new year eve here but Clay wasn’t ready to accept any delay.
The best part about this island in Atlantantic Ocean is it has almost same temperature throughout the year. It is an amazing amphitheatre- shaped valley, with gentle slopes from the coast. The green mountains are peeping over the sea port.
I was kind of hypnotized by its beauty, and then the horn of the ship alerts me that we are departing this island. If I am a poet maybe I would love to lie down on the velvet grass of the highest mountain and watch clouds floating restlessly. But unfortunately I don’t have that kind of imagination and moreover I cant stay here. So, as the ship started moving I should enjoy the tropical breeze flowing over the ocean. I tried to heard their whispering with one another.
January 1,1984, 9 PM
Nothing special happened tomorrow to write . Our ship is moving nimbly to our destination riving across the ocean. If no other problem comes up then we will reach Congo within tomorrow.
I am kind of tired today of this constant water, I don’t have seasickness, but some of Clay’s people have to deal with that. They became very ill tomorrow, but as they have to travel a lot in ship, so they have their own arrangements.
Oh, I forgot to mention about our New Year Eve. We celebrated our new year almost in the mid ocean and I had the chance to meet with many of Clays men, they are very affable. I almost met with almost all of them except one guy named Ruben; it seemed to me that he is kind of scared of me.
Whenever I’m going to talk with him, he was escaping from me in some way. It was too much awkward for me. But the others like John, Ben, Walter and all the eight people of Clay are very chummy except Ruben.
All preparation of the New Year eve was done by them. They never asked me for help, maybe that’s because I was sick before the party. But one thing that I have to accord that the food was delicious; it was prepared by Clay and Walter. The sea fish like Atlantic Cord, Flatfish are so finger licking. But we missed one thing, that alcohol. As alcohol was banned in Funchal we couldn’t get it from there. Overall the party was one of the most memorable things in my life.
January 2, 5PM
I am in a hotel in Matadi, Congo. Congo is a beautiful country. Especially when you get the opportunity to travel across the Congo River. It is the second largest river in Africa after Nile. The only reason because it has a port so inside from the coast is its depth. It is the deepest river of the world somewhere the depth is more than 200m. And the mangrove forest on the left side of the river was amazing.
I got all the information from Clay. My view about him is changing day by day. He is no doubt a very wise person. He told me that this country was a Belgian colony just before 20 years. It has got its independence very recently. So it economy is not enough to support its people. After independence name of the country is changed to Republic of Zaire by a political party name which is the only party in this country and ran by only one leader. But as it is very weak now many European countries and china is trying to take its control.
The people here has a common hatred against white skin, may be that is due to a long colonised history by Europeans. They are not behaving badly but their behaviour reflecting their resins. And maybe that is the reason why I am not facing any problem or denial.
People here can barely speak English but some of them can understand. It was long time under French and Belgian rule so their major language is French. I have planned to explore this place tomorrow.
January 3, 10PM
Matadi is the capital of Bas-Congo and it borders Angola. The Congo and Angola are separated by Congo River. In the left bank is Matadi and its right bank is Angola. I spent my whole day travelling through the place because it was at least better than locked up in the hotel room.
Matadi has a gigantic bridge more than 720 metres long which has rail tracks and rods, it is built very recently. This city is one of the most developed cities in Congo. Here are two interesting things that catch my eye were Mount Cambier and Yelaba falls, especially the Yelaba falls is mesmerizing, I was sitting under it almost for hours, the sound of the falls seems like thousands drumbeats in one corner of the world. Cambier is a famous view point; the whole city can be shown from there. But unfortunately I have to leave this place tomorrow as per the schedule of Clay. We have to cross a huge distance to reach our destination.