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Exploring Africa’s Goma Region: Diary: Day 12

FLI Ishango

The 7R Future Leadership Institute has been following Belgian Floris Buter from the Virunga National Park on a week long field trip in Africa, in order to gather topography data for a hydro-power project. The collected data are to be wired to the Belgian engineering firm TPF. They need the data to make a feasibility study.

However during his field trip Floris decides to leave the Virunga National Park project to set up his own business servicing the Virunga National Park and others. Today you will read about how he is to become the owner of “Ishango”.

Topographical Feasibility Study In Hydro-Power Project

Day 12, 22nd of June 2015 – Beni

I enjoy breakfast at Albertine’s Hotel.
From there I take a moto taxi to ZBD who is at the Ocean Hotel, accross the street from Mushenzi’s place.
We discuss the coming mission and us separating. This means that ZBD will be in charge and that I’ll stay in Beni and fly back to Goma to finish up with my work in Goma. We count and divide the money. One part for ZBD and the topography mission and another part for myself to arrive in Goma in one piece.
Then we go to Mushenzi’s place to meet Papy and the guards.
We go back to Albertine’s Hotel, where ZBD pays my bill for last night and the night to come.
I give my blue sunglasses to Papy.
I take pictures from Papy and the blue sunglasses, from ZBD and Papy leaving together with the rangers and the V08.
Realising that this is the last separation between me, the hydro-explorer’s team and the V08, I get really sad.
I walk up to Albertine’s toilet, take a **** and cry for 30 seconds. It feels good.

11:00 Meeting with Jonathan, Leon, Heritier and Archip, discussing KGE shares.

Meeting about Ishango with Leon in Riviera. We discuss a working plan for Ishango: I run the place. I am the owner. I’ll be the face of Ishango. I am happy with all other conditions. We are moving forward.

Jonathan calls me and asks whether it would be possible for me to visit a hydropower site. This means I need to go to a priest in Beni to ask him to drive me on the back of his motorbike to the hydropower site, 8 km east from the city center of Beni, overlooking the Park.
I hike up and down the hydropower plant and assess it together with my new KGE collegues Erik and Heritier.
After the site visit I take the priest to the Albertine hotel and offer him a drink. He chooses a big Simba beer. I take a Coke.
He explains me all he knows about hydropower and I write it down, especially the contacts he has in the field.

I take a moto back home to shower and to get new cloths because all my cloths are at my new house and I’m very dirty. In the evening I go back to Albertine’s and order a soup. Time to call Adam, the amercian guy that won the second price of the Google Impact Challenge UK by creating an online platform to detect and stop corruption inside the park. He travels up and down from the US to Congo every other month because he has a wife and a kid at home in the US.
Mr. Michel and his wife, Guilan, Léon and a guy from Burkina Faso join me after the call, so I can my soup in their company.
I go to bed and Sleep.

Notes by Floris Buter

FLI Floris Buter VirungaFloris Buter is the Managing Director Commercial Enterprises of the Virunga National Park in Africa. He is responsible for the identification, conceptualization, implementation and operation of all commercial opportunities in and around Virunga National Park. Today he is in the process of leaving his job, setting up his proper company servicing the Virunga National Park and other potential clients.

Virunga is truly the crown jewel of Africa’s national parks. The park contains over 50% of sub-Saharan Africa’s biodiversity and is home to about 200 of the earth’s last 720 critically endangered mountain gorillas. Virunga is the oldest national park in the Africa. Despite this, the forests and amazing animals of the park, most notably the mountain gorilla, are in a desperate fight for their survival.

To read the other diary posts from Floris Buter, click here.

Are you a scientist, adventurer or explorer on a mission ?
The 7R Future Leadership Institute supports nature research and exploration. If you are a scientist, adventurer or explorer on a mission, we are interested in your story. Please contact us via info(at) to discuss terms and conditions.

The Virunga Movie was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 in the category ‘Best Documentary Feature’. You can watch it here.

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