Outside of work hours, my favourite activity when I’m in Kindu is to go out to the UN base at the airport in the evening to play volleyball with UN soldiers, staff, and other NGO workers. They play seven days a week, so if I’m able to leave the office on time (which was easily possible the first two months of my stay) I can play every single day! Before or after volleyball, I sometimes use their gym for a quick workout as well.
This is the laterite road from town toward the airport:
These are Bolivian soldiers playing football while I was working out in the gym before volleyball. Some of them would come straight from a long football match to play volleyball with us.
Carlos (a Bolivian lieutenant) in action while Nito (a Uruguayan corporal), Patricia (an Italian NGO worker), and Solène (a French Merlin employee) look on:
Diego (Uruguayan civilian UN water treatment specialist) in action:
The sand volleyball court is lit up once night falls so we can continue playing. That’s me in the red Vietnam shirt in the background:
Since the games start around 6pm and last about an hour and a half, we see quite a few sunsets while playing, and sometimes the sky does crazy things like this:
The volleyball games are great because everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming and supportive, regardless of the skill level of the different people who come to play. I’ve been learning a bit of Spanish because so many of the regulars are South Americans who speak very little English. I now automatically keep score in Spanish rather than English, and I never yell “out!” anymore but “fuera!” instead!