Tuesday, January 5, 2010


i had an interestign conversation with a congolese cellphone-store worker about globalization (la mondialisation) today. i quote (well, translated from french), "globalization is the same as the imposition of a way of life. there, in america, people wear pants, which are then imported here so now we wear pants. the dollar is used there, and here if we are to buy things we need to use dollars." Also, the man from the university of lubumbashi who works with me on interviews, St├ęphane, also feels strongly about the USA. today over lunch he said (in french) "for colonization, people had to leave their country abroad to come here to the Congo. now, with globalization, they can use telephones, faxes, the internet to change our lives here. to force us to imitate them, they dont need to come here anymore, we have televisions that show us how people live abroad in america and change ourselves."

an interesting contrast to say, uganda or tanzania where obama things are everywhere and such. here in congo, obviously partiallydue to a very different history of american involvement in DRC (read: Lumumba, a leader during congolese independence who was assasinated by the cia, although this is technically unconfirmed...and mzee kabila), there is alot more ambivalence towards the usa. also, there are no newspapers in the city, although there are a few people who print out the daily news from computers and sell them.

also today i had my first interviewo only in swahili! there are some tanzanian traders (batanzania is what the wakongo say) here from dar es salaam, where alot of the goods are shipped from dubai. Finally got to use the vocab (maendeleo, biashara, desturi, n.k.) from the 2008 summer haha.

no internet at the house :( but electricity came back last night :) illput up some pics once internet is up again. thats about it for now!
stephane talking to workers in shop of dress clothes from turkey/china.

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