Part One A

The rolling green hills of
Rwanda and Congo

Photo Credit: Molly Feltner

Lake Kivu

"Large quantities of CO2 and Methane gas are trapped under heavy pressure at the bottom of Lake Kivu...scientists feared another eruption of Mount Nyiragongo could trigger the lake to explode." (p. 2)

The Busy Streets
Of Goma

A house
in Goma

"Families with no electricity or running water, with plastic sheeting covering their walls and floors of lava rock, invested first in double locks for the door." (p. 30)

The McMansions
Of Goma

Mount Nyiragongo

"puffing smoke during the day
and glowing red in the night." (p.2)

The 2002 eruption

Experts say Goma is the most volcano-threatened city in the world.

Over 300,000 people fled Goma on the day of the eruption. They returned days later, before the lava had even cooled, in a rush to return home to protect whatever remained from looting.

Photo credit of glowing volcano: Molly Feltner

AP footage from
2002 eruption

"Panic suddenly seized the population of Goma. A fissure had opened just outside of the city and it became clear that a river of lava, up to two meters high, was headed
straight for the heart of Goma..." (p.9)

Scroll to minute 3:00 to see video of the people of Goma
shortly after the eruption.

Life on Lava Rock

"Families had returned to rebuild wooden shacks directly on top of the lava rock, and children played outside, kicking homemade soccer balls in the place where green grass had once grown."
(p. 9)

Photo credit: Molly Feltner


Carrying rocks in a bag and baby on back.

The streets of Goma

"Older women sat by the side of the road with vats of oil balanced over charcoal fire. Younger girls satg at wooden crates, selling salt and palm oil in plastic sandwich bags, just enough for one day's use." (p. 24)

The Women of Goma

"I realized that these impeccably dressed women were going everywhere, or nowhere in particular. They were simply the women of Congo-a place that celebrates style and color and beauty in the face of every obstacle." (p. 23)