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Facts about Kinshasa

Picture update: Apparently my inability to post photos has nothing to do with this blogsite, it is the extremely slow internet here that is preventing me from being able to les afficher. I guess you'll just have to wait until I get back to the states to see them!

So apparently I'm not technically supposed to talk about what I do at work, so I'm not going to get into that. Since all I did this week was go to work, I don't really have anything to blog about. So I decided I'd just make a list of what I think are interesting/practical facts about Kinshasa....I hope you enjoy them.

It is the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It was called Leopoldville (and in Dutch, Leopoldstad) until 1966.

Brazzaville is its "sister" city, sitting directly across from it on the Congo River.

Photography is illegal without a permit.

The unemployment rate is 90%. (That's correct!!!) Its economy essentially collapsed in the 1990s due to political turmoil.

It is the largest francophone city in the world, with a population of 7-8 million.

After French, the most widely spoken language here is Lingala.

The commune "La Gombe" is where the foreign embassies are located and where most expats live. (This is the commune I live in).

It is NBA player Dikembe Mutombo's hometown.

Kinshasa had the earliest documented HIV-1 infection, which dates from 1959 and was discovered in the preserved blood sample of a local man.

It has only one fast-food restaurant chain, called HungaBusta.

There is a large Lebanese expat community.

Primus, Skol and Turbo King are popular local beers.

Corruption is a huge problem among police, the military and government officials.

The year-to-date inflation rate is approximately 25%, and the projected rate for 2008 is between 30-40%.

The Congolese franc is worth about 1/500th of a dollar. Dollars are the preferred currency (although probably the Euro should be...lol).

Well, that's what I got so far. I hope you now feel more well-informed about where I am!!

Posted by bbrodsky 06:26

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