Cheek-by-jowl, boarding the barge M/B SETB as it sets off down the Congo River -- a colourful, cacophonous cocktail.
At last, after five days looking for a ride from Mbandaka, it's time to hit that mighty Congo River! Boarding the barge, the M/B SETB, is an eye-opener.
It's full to the rafters. Women, men, children, animals, cargo, crew — you name it. Climbing onto the barge is like entering another world — a floating refugee camp. Higgledy-piggledy, it's all on board, piled ten feet high in places, with possessions and people e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r- e.
Barge M/B SETB, carrying NPR's Ofeibea Quist Arcton, heads down the Congo River.
Kinshasa — here we come!