It wasn’t too long since it all began. That call at the golden hour was the most unexpected call. Yes, I was called for an interview to work as a contractor for the United Nations. I thought, despite the call, that it would be almost impossible to secure the job. The first interview went on well, and then came the second that was a real challenge but I overcame. Even thought the interviews were completed, I was not too sure of getting the job. Days later, when I was walking by the beach with my cousin, I received a call from the UN contractor and I was offered the job of Deputy Human Resources Manager, to be based in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.
The first few minutes after the call filled me with excitement and enthusiasm but after that, I was confused and anxious. Several questions crossed my mind. Should I really accept the job offer? Should I really quit everything and walk into the uncertain? I know DR Congo was a ‘war-torn’ country. Then, should I really make that place home. Should I go or not, and this was the final question? My mind was telling me yes, but my heart was in a denial state.
Eventually, after much reflection and consultation, I resolved to go for this unknown adventure. Nothing was easy. Yes, I was going to the ‘world’s most dangerous city’ as it is referred to on the internet and that was Goma. I left all the comfort and embraced Goma – a small town, destroyed recently by the active volcano, located at the border of Gisenyi – Rwanda, nestling in between national parks and surrounded by Lake Kivu. The standard of life was low, as I expected, but soon I realised that the standard of hearts was not low. People were full of love, compassion and peace. Perhaps because they’ve been through a lot, and by now they’ve reached a deeper understanding of life.
I was soon a child of Goma. I got promoted in less than three months of service as the Human Resources & Compliance Manager, overseeing a heavy fuel supply operations for the United Nations. One by one, good things came to me. I reached to people living in the remotest part of the town, befriended them and listened to them. I offered them as much love as I could. Through social media, I tried as hard as possible to tell people about Goma and about DR Congo as a whole, and I hope to some extent I have succeeded.
After spending 1.5 years in this amazing part of the world, I am now back in Mauritius for another adventure. But one day, Africa – the continent will call me again.