Blood River Essay

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Blood River A Journey Through Africas Broken Heart Blood River by Tim Butcher is an account of one mans journey to navigate the Congo River. A story of Tim Butchers perilous 20th century adventurer following the footsteps of Henry Morton Stanley through a place where there are more than 45,000 deaths from violence ever month. Butcher was a journalist who had gotten the idea to navigate the Congo from his mother who would tell him stories about when she once traveled along the Congo when she was young. He worked on a plan for over 4 years saying “I badgered aid groups, missionaries, politicians, diplomats, peacekeepers and pygmies.” Going over countless maps and searching for funding wherever he could. The only problem is that the Congo is not the same as it was during his mothers or Stanleys trip. It is suicide for a white man to attempt this everyone would tell him and very few offer there help and support. After all his planing he finally packed his bags and headed on his journey, his first stop Lubumbashi. Where he already had problems just getting of the plane with nearly every person claiming to be some sort of official and demanding something of him. From there he made his way over Lake Tanganyika then 600 miles on a motorbike to the headwaters of the Congo River. On the way seeing old corpses rotting from past fights. Now on the river he traveled using dugouts from Kindu where he had a stay in a comfortable air conditioned UN stronghold to Kisangani. Along the way seeing no motorboats on the river but seeing plenty of old rusted out steamboats. After a lengthy stay to find a boat he departed on the last part of his trip where he landed at the Atlantic ocean on august 9th. Butcher successfully retraced Stanleys tracks through the Congo giving the world a great view of the horrors that have befallen this country in recent years. He showed that a
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