Across the river

July 10, 2008

A few days ago I was sitting on a dingy hotel patio next to a river. The river was narrow, maybe  35 feet across, and deep and a dark shade of greenish blue. Bleached white water birds flew low over it in V formation. On the other side the bank sloped up steeply into a few houses and huts that looked, as far as these things go, relatively prosperous. At night a few of them even had electricity.
What made this riverbank different from most others is that it was the edge of DR Congo. Looking across the river in the morning, I saw a boy in a red shirt running towards the river. He was carrying a white flag.

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