Jan 6, 2014

Emergency Landing

     The helicopter took off and it started to rain shortly after.  I was watching lightning from the small round widow of the heli and could see this wasn’t the ideal situation for being up in the air. It was time to land regardless if there was any airport around.

    The flight started in Shabunda going to Bukavu in South Kivu in the Congo and it was still quite far from the final destination when the complications began. The pilot was forced to improvise and choose the nearest tall hill to perform an emergency landing on it. The view was epic, the nature absolutely gorgeous so I took camera out and started taking photos. I certainly didn't have any better medicine for this kind of situation. 

    As we were getting closer to the ground I noticed people from near by village running up the hill to see what was happening. Red Cross representatives came up as well in impressive speed. It seemed like a movie scene. Not just for the location but the timing of it all as well.

     We waited about 3 hours on top of that hill accompanied by the folks who came from the village and who didn't leave even though it was pouring rain. Later on when the weather improved, regardless the fog the pilot decided to continue the trip. Arriving safe to Bukavu the whole crew seemed to be ready to leave the helicopter after spending quite some hours in it. 

     It sure was a day I'll never forget. Not just because of the friends I made or the fear I felt but because of the breathtaking landscapes and sceneries I've got to see along the way.. 

Jul 5, 2013


     Twice a year the kids in Shabunda come to church for confession, Easter (images below) and Christmas.  One at a time, they share with the priest what they consider their deepest sins. 
    I watched them from afar, and documented with a long lens not to interrupt or interfere with the intimate moments they were sharing.  From their faces it was apparent they were speaking of some very personal matters..

    "They are very innocent"  said the priest after confession was over. "Their sins seem large in their eyes but they are actually so very small.."

Jun 9, 2013

Shabunda Town

     A large church, a football field, an airport (looks just like the football field), a crashed airplane, a pub, a market, a UN army base right across the street from a playground (surrounded by barbed wire).     
     That's Shabunda.. a small town in South Kivu, a place that looks quite peacefull and innocent on first glance..