The final jet fighter maneuver that took the plane around for final landing into Goma couldn’t even be described as comparable to a roller coaster; not even Montezuma’s Revenge. It came unexpectedly. I had been warned, but even that wasn’t sufficient to prepare oneself. Suddenly there was part of me that wondered if I was underwater, or if it just felt like I was swimming for a moment. As it turned out, we were making a Top Gun move instead.

Our flight was just us, the Russian pilots, and a couple of local guys parked on the bags of casiderite that lined the belly of the plane. Does being on a plane loaded with illegally extracted minerals implicate me in this mess that is Congo? It seems that the equivalent in South America would be hoping on a flight loaded down with cocaine.

For those not familiar with issues in Eastern DR Congo, the exploitation of the minerals that power our electronic devices that are fueling the conflict in the region. These include casiterite, coltan, copper, and then the added valuable such as gold and diamonds. They make up what have now been coined as “conflict minerals”. If you want to take action on this, check out the Enough website that shows you how to get involved.




  1. 'Drea on June 10, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I remember going to New York and being diverted to Philadelphia because of a storm and there was a collective gasp because the plane dipped roller coaster like.

    I was thinking that at least there were phones on the plane so that I could say some goodbyes…

    Okay, I’m headed over to Enough!

Leave a Comment