In mid-February, a few of us went south from Dungu to Ndedu by motorcycle to plan, prepare, and run three days of measles vaccinations. In the planning phase our job was to try and figure out which vaccination teams would go to which villages at which times, how long they’d stay in each place, and how long it would take to get to the next one. This was all decided with the advice and help of the local chief in each location, as well as other important people like school principals, health centre staff, church pastors, and parents.
At the same time, I made simple maps using my GPS device, as the Google Earth and United Nations maps (which are almost identical) lack all the place names and include several locality names which they’ve mapped as villages. My maps and distance charts are free if you contact me.
The “roads” through the jungle in this area range from a fairly smooth and wide path in some places to very, very, very bumpy and overgrown in others. Suffice it to say that, at the end of the fourth full day bouncing up and down on the back of a motorcycle in the jungle, I was a bit tired. Here are two of my motorcycle drivers crossing a slippery log bridge:
Map of our second day based out of Ndedu:
On the second day we visited villages in the area around Kpekpere, and went as far as Bawaku. One motorcycle also got a flat tire, which was soon repaired.
On the way back from Bawaku to Kpekpere we got caught by heavy rains and had to hide in the nearest large hut we could find. We were there about an hour, of which I spent perhaps 20 minutes sleeping.
Map of our third day based out of Ndedu:
On the third day we went all the way to Libombi, a three and a half hour drive, meaning seven hours of motorcycle movement that day, plus all the time we had to spend in each place along the way! This was by far the longest and hardest day, but it was still really fun.
On the fourth day I supervised three vaccination teams. Children waiting to be vaccinated in Li-Lungbu:
Inside a vaccination site in Kpekpere:
Children waiting to be vaccinated in Kpekpere:
Motorcycling through the jungle south of Dungu:
Soon, we were back in Dungu for a much-needed day off work, followed by similar activities in the other direction: north! More on that later…