Paris by river

April 7, 2012

A great moment of joy today. First day out since the operation for David and Victor. The sun was shining for the occasion. On with the caps and coats to keep out the chill in the air and we were off for a ride on paris’s aquivalent to dug-out canoes: the “bateau mouche” or fly-boats as they are called! There were smiles all around as we boarded after everyone else. Victor, our captain back in Basankusu, and despite not being in command, his eyes were sparkling with joy! When he’s on the water, he’s in his element… and the thousands of kilometres that separate the Lopori and the Seine weren’t going to change that! David was as attentive as any tourist, including the many Japanese tourists surrounding him. Anne was our guide for the day and challenged the men to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower via the stairs! The bet is on, but we’ll see to that later…

Monique and Claudine discussed various administrative problems, somehow lightened under the warm sunshine. David and Victor whipped out their cameras and fired away like the professional paparazzi, they didn’t want to miss a single thing or forget a single moment of this first spring outing. David was rather cautious, staying comfortably in his seat, Victor however had found his sailors feet and strolled over to the bow of the boat, with a quick glance up at the captain’s cabin. We pass by the DRC’s embassy, a little feeling of something close to home for the two men. Finally we pull up in front of the “Pont d’Alma”. Feet back on the ground, but minds soaring high above!


Victor and David are going to have to undergo several operations spread over several months, support from people around them is vital in keeping their spirits up. Following the surgeon Professor Lantieri’s generous intervention, regarding the hospitalisation fees, Air France has also shown great solidarity. Touched by Victor and David’s story, the director of sustainable development at Air France gave Claudine a free two-way ticket from Kinshasa to Paris, so that she could be with the men, her presence is of great comfort to them. We thank Air France for their generosity that has allowed Claudine to accompany the men and keep an eye that they are as comfortable and high spirited as possible.

3 thoughts on “Paris by river

  • Marcia Douthwaite

    Many thanks for this update on Victor & David. It is good to see the out and about in Paris enjoying the sun and sights. My thoughts are with them and trust that the rest of treatment will go well. They are courageous and inspiring fellows.

  • Andrea Talamantez

    I love that you guys are out seeing the sites. Let the beauty comfort you as you both walk down this path of healing. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time!

  • connie leisey

    Some good can come out of a bad situtation. I so glad and thankful they are recovering even though it is slow,and they had the opportunity to really see Paris.They are going to have soooooo many things to share when they get home! Thank you for the update and thank Air France for being one of the good guys!!!!!!!! connie

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