backstory · Congo

toyota land cruiser

best car ever

This car has been in our family since it rolled off the factory floor in1985. It has been with us through 31 years of Central Africa, a country name change and a couple of wars. It faithfully served us in Kinshasa, Kifwa, Brazzaville, Dolisie, Pointe-Noire. It crossed central Congo from Brazzaville to Pointe-Noire 15 years ago. It lived through a roof-crushing incident in the 80’s in then-Bas-Zaïre, when to save the life of a chicken, my father hit the brakes and the car skidded off the road, tumbling on itself three times on one side then on the other, ending upside down. The car, it should be noted, was full, and there were, miraculously, no casualties or injuries. Later on, a half-century-old mango tree, felled by a mythical rainstorm, fell onto the car, nearly crushing the engine, had it not been for a fortuitous branch, causing only repairable damage to the hood. The car was stolen by military in Doloisie and recovered in the 2000’s. Just last year, all the windows were destroyed, and it took months to find replacements. It got a new Congostyle paint job recently, and we’re still trying to erase the damage done by the over-zealous painter.




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