The people of Goma have to live with the presence of 2 ghosts haunting them every moment. The first one is Nyirangongo, the active volcano only 13 Km away, that destroyed about 40 % of the city in 2002, then erupted again in 2005. In the evenings it was so eerie to see the flames come out of the mouth of the towering volcano and wonder when it will spit its fury again.
The second ghost is lake Kivu, one of the great African lakes with a huge mysterious aura to it, and lots of toxic methane gas that is known to have killed people fishing or boating on its waters.
Sitting on the great rift valley, there is also the carbon monoxide associated with the volcano threatening the residents of Goma at all times.
and as if this was not enough, Goma borders the town of Gisenyi in Rwanda, a border that brings war, disease, conflict, kidnapping of children to the armed forces, and a flood of refugees that totaled up to 10,000 people per hour crossing into Goma.
And in spite of all that Goma is one of the most beautiful places that I have seen, and it has a charm that goes under your skin and is there to stay.
I hope I will be back there one day…