A new DR Congo field campaign?

I recently started to plan a new field campaign in both Yangambi as well as Yoko. The aim is to collect more wood (core) samples for stable isotope analysis as well as some leaf samples for a diachronic analysis of leaf morphology.

However, talking to people at the Royal Museum for Central Africa I might reconsider and make due with my current samples. It seems that tensions have run high between ‘white’ people and the local population both in Kisangani and Yangambi due to a clash of cultures and expectations. Although I never felt threatened during the last field campaign it only shows how vulnerable interpersonal relations are in DR Congo and how the colonial past still plays a big role in day to day interactions. Although we make it clear that we, as scientists, are not there for diamonds, sometimes it is still perceived to be so.

So I’m still on the fence on this one… more later…