Samoutou Family Blog
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About This Blog...

Family of 5 
from Gabon, Hong Kong and the UK   

Living in Impfondo,   
Republic of Congo   
Since April 2012 

Blog by Joyce the mum, 
Homeschooling novice, 
Eye Charity founding doctor / director. 
Reluctant domestic goddess 

Passionate about sashimi, 
helping people see 
physically and spiritually,   
and Jesus   


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P.S. This is the personal blog of the Samoutou family  
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Recent Posts

August 18, 2015

On Sunday I went to the Chapel and joined in with the Samoutou family band. I am not a particularly religious man per se, but it was good fun to get back on the guitar and perform in a band for the first time since my rock ‘n’ roll, long haired days when I was 11. It is crystal clear to me that Christianity plays a hugely important role in the functioning of New Sight, and in keeping the Samoutou family, my welcoming hosts, close to each other as they work through the difficulties of living here.


Religion in Africa is an incredibly interesting thing for the budding sociologist. I am told that a lot of the people who join the Christian faith here will continue to practice other rituals and routines belonging to non-Christian, African beliefs. I suppose this fits with the culture in general because In Africa most things are neither here nor there just a colourful, eclectic mix of all things funky and otherwise.


Even more interesting sociologically is race. Until yesterday I had always blamed the white European for all the troubles Africans have experienced regarding ethnicity. At Manchester University I met Benson Wereje, a native Congolese man who had lost his village during the war in DRC, become a child soldier, and now worked to help refugees in Uganda. He was a knowledgeable source and a very inspiring man, and he told me that tribal ethnic hostility was virtually non-existent when he was a child. According to Benson, it began as a result of manipulation from Western powers. From a book I was reading yesterday, however, I learnt that racial subjugation here in Congo spans back to the arrival of the Bantu tribes 1,000 years ago. The Bantu have since persecuted and shunned the Pygmies, the oldest indigenous people of central Africa. I am not about to excuse the brutality of the Colonialists, but I thought it was an interesting point.


After the Chapel I went to play football in the sun with some locals about my age. For anyone who knows my thoughts on football, they will know that this is the most adventurous thing I have done on the trip so far. I felt a bit out of place as I clumsily swung my legs at the ball, my bare skin stinging as the sweat soaked into cuts made by the sharp, dry grass. I drank a litre and a half of water in about 40 minutes, while everyone else had half a cup at the end. Nonetheless it felt good to get some exercise and the LADS were encouraging even though they all knew I was an awful player.


This week I am hoping to get a good start on rewriting content for the launch of the brand new, New Sight website. I will also go screening with Henri at a small village North of Impfondo, once the chief gives us the go ahead.

Guest blog by

Rowan Cassels-Brown
New Sight Summer Intern

Filed under: Musings, Living in Congo


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