It had been a brilliant day of bad and beautiful weather and as Jonathan B and I took off from Goma in bright sunshine for the 10 minute flight to Katali to pick up our IT specialist, Owen Fuller, we could see the dark grey clouds right to the ground in the pass between the two volcano’s. This was going to be a bit tricky.
The whole side of Nyiragongo volcano was visible right up to the top but down at the bottom a wall of clouds were right in the trees. We thought of going around but then as we got closer could see that we could get over the top and through to the other side. Then we descended back down to see if we could get in to Rumangabo area from the other side of the pass but it was just not possible. We climbed back up and went west over Nyamuragira (10,823 ft.), the other active volcano in the park and started looking for a way through to Bunia. Owen would have to wait for another time. Although I hated leaving him, I knew he would have a great experience at the camp.
The OEIL guys from the reconciliation conference would not get to see any elephants today. But talking to Daniel about the meetings renewed my belief that the ministry of reconciliation, (2 Cor. 5:18), they do is the great hope for Congo which has suffered for centuries of tribal fighting and war.
There was a lot of “cumulo-granite” around here but as we climbed alongside the billowing clouds, we started to see some blue sky high above. Some of our pilots and the flight follower told us the weather was better up ahead of us so we circled as we climbed up to 13,500 feet, always with our “out” over our shoulder. We topped the clouds and ran the ridgeline along Lake Edward in the blue sky with solid clouds to our left but a view of the jagged Rewenzori mountain range to our right with fresh snow on the peaks. Oh, did I forget to mention that we had got a load of medicine and supplies down to the remote Grace Mission hospital in Kipaka? What a beautiful day at the office.