Here's my wrap up of what I have learned/how my opinions have changed in the last month:
- I do not like fufu, however fish cooked in banana leaves is quite lovely
- What I simplistically refer to as the Congo is a region that has had soooo many names in recent history: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Republic of the Congo, Zaire, and currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
- I expected to read lots of accounts of how the people of the Congo were negatively affected by Belgian colonization, but I did not expect to discover that America was involved in the assassination of the first democratically elected leader. That rocked some of my perceptions of American foreign policy
- I think what most impacted me in learning about the history in the region is the notion that so many of the issues in the DRC right now still relate to foreign involvement. I think that the Congolese had been so taken advantage of for so many years, and had seen so much death that the hands of foreigners that at some point the sanctity of life was questioned by some, and those Congolese who have gotten sucked into the armed groups involved in the sale of conflict minerals display this lack of respect for the Congolese people, their countrymen and women, which has lead to some of the horrific incidents of rape in the area. There was a point in "Heart of Darkness" where the main character says something about how the hardest part of his job was the times when he had the "