Lounging around the lodge, waiting for my contract to end, I started talking to one of the other guests. Roderick, South African but living in Swaziland was on his way back from Lumumbashi, in the DRC, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, going into South Africa.
Not a tourist, he spent six weeks there trying to buy precious stones. Inbetween violent clashes on the streets, he was offered, on those same streets, diamonds by the hand full. But he wasn’t going for diamonds. He had to spend some days at the DRC – Zambia border to find the right people to pay off so that he could pass with his truck and 90.000 USD worth of cobalt. He was now slightly worried about his next leg, going into South Africa where big trucks get pushed off the road by truck-jackers.
If I’m not mistaken, cobalt is the stuff that ends up in all our cell phones and is about as valuable, if not more, as gold.
Meanwhile, some Spanish and Canadian guests have arrived in the lodge as well. They are going to work in Zimbabwe, harvesting grain.
Fucked up or what?