Samoutou Family Blog
Subscribe to feed

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   


Please do give comments and feedbacks so that we can improve the way we communicate with you!

P.S. This is the personal blog of the Samoutou family  
(Views our own)  
Please contact us to subscribe to New Sight official newsletters.  

Thank you for your support! 


Recent Posts

Community Health Screening
August 22, 2015

Thursday’s community health screening trip to Nkoko was one of the best bits so far. We set off due-North from Impfondo on the same road which runs straight through town. It was tarmac-ed but within a couple of minutes driving its flat surface began to give way to Africa. The 4 wheel drive bounced its way over car size pot-holes while swerving around bits of thick jungle undergrowth that was slowly covering the road from the edges. Both sides of the track were dotted with men, women and children carrying loads often larger than themselves, sometimes with a dog in tow which looked more like a hyena-fox hybrid than your average poodle.

Nkoko was much the same as any other cluster of houses in Likouala. Mud huts topped with leaves made up 99% of the buildings, with scrawny chickens running around on the flat earth beaten hard by feet. A gaggle of children quickly emerged from nowhere, shyly hiding behind a bush and laughing, probably, at my weird white skin.

One of the first things I noticed was the chief’s ingenious way to listen the local Likouala radio station. His radio’s antenna had long been forgotten and in its place there was a long wire stretching from his wooden table to a small tree. From there the wire navigated its way through and around the branches, crossed overhead to the roof of the nearest mud hut, spiraled up a tall wooden pole and finally connected to a hand-size piece of corrugated metal, where it received a crackly but audible stream of Congolese music.

The next thing I noticed reminded me of something I read in Tim Butcher’s Blood River the day before. He writes that during his time in the DRC, he saw a number of people wearing clothes which would have been received from charities; hand-me-downs no longer wanted by the West. In Nkoko I saw a man in a black tee which read ‘World of Warcraft Qualifier’. I wondered whether the previous owner was playing right at that moment, somewhere far off in his Western paradise.

The chief’s wife offered me a plate of bananas as I took a seat in the shade near the chief. I said no thank you, feeling guilty as she made a fuss over me, but Henri was quick to let me know that it is culturally polite to take everything that gets offered to you. I’m glad he did, because the bananas she then brought out were the best I have ever eaten. Sweet, perfectly ripe, and slightly warm from the midday heat, I realized that these were probably the only bananas I have ever eaten which haven’t been transported in a motor vehicle. They were so good I ate three.

I am no medical professional so I took some photos for the website, chatted to the villagers, and learnt about the various components required to perform healthcare provision trips into the jungle like this one. It was certainly a learning experience. There must have been over 40 people experiencing problems with their eyes, and none of them had ever been treated. In a region like Likouala, the amount of money, manpower and logistical capability is stretched thin to even try and provide the care that is required. Even so, Henri and his team seemed to handle the screening very efficiently and we were on our way home by half past 12 midday.

Guest blog by 

Rowan Cassels-Brown
New Sight Summer Intern


Post A Comment

Please enter the text you
see in the image above.
(This is just so we know that you're human.)

Can't read this image? Click SUBMIT for a new image.