Skip to content

We’ve Moved!

October 11, 2010


Announcing our big move at the wedding: Katie is putting a little star on the DRC


As of about 10 days ago, Jamie and I have taken up a new residence!  We no longer live in Davis, nor California, nor the U.S., nor North America.  We now reside in the Gombe district of Kinshasa, the capitol of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (hereto referred to as the DRC or DR Congo), right smack-dab in the middle of Africa.  Some call it the heart of Africa.  Some call it the heart of darkness.  Personally, I prefer the former.

The DR Congo, which was Zaire from the early 1970’s to 1997, has a pretty tumultuous history, sadly similar to that of many African countries, with colonialism, post-independence dictatorship, civil wars and political corruption weaving in and out.  Currently, there is continued conflict in the eastern provinces of the country between government troops and several militia factions (fortunately for us, Kinshasa is well on the other side of this extremely large country).  The past several years has seen an outcry from humanitarians against the mass rapes committed against civilians by both government and rebel troops…

…which certainly makes it an interesting country in which to work in the field of international health, and specifically women’s health.  When I was offered a global health fellowship position here in the DRC, it was hard to refuse.  Jamie and I gave it a lot of thought, and we both felt like this was the right decision for us at this point.  And although he doesn’t have one lined up just yet, I’m pretty confident that with Jamie’s experience and charisma, he’ll be able to find a job here pretty soon.

And so, after our roughly 25 hour flight from L.A., Jamie and I arrived at the Kinshasa airport bleary-eyed, but safe and sound.  After reading warnings online about the hassles of the DRC airport and the bribes we may have to pay to make it through, we were pleasantly surprised when we found none of that.  On the contrary, our arrival was easy and efficient, all of our bags made it, and we were off to our apartment in no time without any hassles at all.

Our apartment is great- it was recommended to us by a previous fellow (thank you, Amanda!).  It has a kitchen with a small fridge, a bathroom, a living room with a dining room table, a hot pink couch and tv, and a large bedroom.  We have running water (hot water!) and electricity too, most of the time.  And when the grid power fails, our apartment complex is good about turning on the generators.

We even have wireless internet, which is awesome!  The apartment complex already had it set up, so we just pay a bit extra per month to get access to it.

We live in the Gombe district, which is apparently where most of the other expats live, along with where many of the embassies are.  I am still a few miles from work, not quite walking distance, but we really like our neighborhood.  There’s an awesome little restaurant around the corner, Chez Bertrand, with delicious Congolese cuisine and cheap beer.  We can see the Gombe River from our window, which is lined with garden plots.

Here’s a map of Kinshasa, with our neighborhood marked.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Melodee permalink
    October 11, 2010 11:50 pm

    Hot pink couch, awesome! So happy to hear you are getting safely settled. Please provide details on Congolese cuisine…recipes or recommendations, too! BTW, I finally made Crispy Kale a couple weeks ago and we are all converts! We’ll look forward to reading the many adventures of Katie and Jamie, lots of love to you both, Aunt Melodee

    • Katie Robinette permalink*
      October 12, 2010 9:24 pm

      Thanks Aunt Melodee! Yeah, I’m planning on posting some photos of the apartment, so you’ll be able to see the incredible brightness of the couch with your own eyes.
      We’ve eaten some great Congolese dishes so far, we’ll certainly provide more details on that soon! We actually have a lady that’s going to come and cook us dinner a couple of times per week, so maybe we’ll learn a thing or two and get some recipes from her to pass on. Glad you enjoyed the crispy kale- since this is a public location though, I have to give proper credit for that one to Jamie’s sister, Becky 🙂


  1. Au revoir, Kinshasa (for now…) « Les Aventures de Jamie & Katie
  2. 15 Minutes at the Podium: Presenting Research at the Sexual Violence Initiative Forum 2011 « Les Aventures de Jamie & Katie
  3. 15 Minutes at the Podium: Presenting Research at the Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum 2011ch « Les Aventures de Jamie & Katie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: