All posts by Chelsea Nazareth

Stinger: A Reporters Journey in the Congo

I went to the CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies) book event the Stinger: A Reporters Journey in the Congo, written by Anjan Sundaram, which took place from 5:30-6:30. There were two other people on the stage. A lady by the name of Jennifer Cooke was moderating the event, and another man on the stage, though i forgot what his name was. Anjan Sundaram talked about his trip to the Congo in 2006, which marked the country’s first democractic elections. He mentioned traveling down the Congo River. The author talked about how people walked for 3 days from their villages to the nearest poll. Everyone in the country seemed very excited for the elections, although they apparently didn’t really make a difference, and nothing changed the country politically. There were a lot of local and regional conflicts during the time of his stay, and he also saw international intervention. This was something completely new for them. He felt very unprepared when he went there however, and he mentioned being robbed twice. There was so much conflict going on in the country, and he discussed how natural resources helped fuel the war, which i found interesting because we discussed this in class. He said living was very tough in the Congo, but he also discussed how communities banned together to take care of each other. He discussed how within a week a family might get less than a dollar, and one day a couple people would eat, another day another couple of people would eat, and then on sunday everyone was on their own. People there really depended on each other and shared expenses. There was a lot of areas in the country that had no government presence. Something else i found very interesting in the book event was when the other man on the stage (cant remember his name) discussed how when he went to the Congo, he found it really interesting how the people of the Congo referred to themselves as Congolese instead of referencing what tribe they were from. I think its very common in various areas in Africa for people to identify themselves with their tribe instead of country, so i found this very interesting. The last portion of the event was reserved for the audience to ask any questions or add comments.