To the Interior

When we arrived in Lodja, a choir was welcoming a visiting evangelist.

On July 14, we traveled 560 miles by plane from Kinshasa’s Ndjili Airport to Lodja.  A choir appeared to greet us upon our arrival, but the singers weren’t greeting us — they were welcoming a visiting evangelist, who was going to speak in Lodja that evening.  We had flown a jet-engine Airbus from Kinshasa to Kananga, where we passed the time in the waiting room by having our shoes shined.  Our next flight was on a two-prop Fokker 50, and it touched down lightly on the unpaved gravel airstrip.

The red line shows our flight from Kinshasa to Lodja (via Kananga).

Air travel is for the well-to-do.  When Bishop Djomo needs equipment in Lodja (or any other city in the Diocese of Tshumbe), he relies on riverboat transportation.  A boat can travel to Lodja from Kinshasa by first going up the Congo River, and then going up the Sankuru River tributary.  Father Floribert said that it takes two months.  I prefer air travel.

The blue line shows a route from Lodja (point A) to Wembo-Nyama (Point B) in the Sankuru River District.

Once we got to Lodja, our air travel was over.  We made the rest of our journey to Wembo-Nyama on unpaved roads in a Toyota Landcruiser, a four-wheel drive vehicle.  Before Wembo-Nyama is the town of Tshumbe, but it is so small that the map does not show it.  It is not far from the town of Dikungu.  The one town that is easy to find on the map is Lodja.

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