In recent years, Drs. Philip and Nancy Wood have been alternating between time in Toronto and time in Bunia. You can likely guess which season of the year they plan to be out of Canada, but this year their departure from Toronto was delayed due to COVID-19.

These absolute saints have dedicated their entire lives to helping Africans through their advanced medical training, Philip from Cambridge University and Nancy from University of Toronto. They have fled from civil war in Liberia and sheltered people from tribal slaughter in the unrest during the Nyankunde Massacre. The Toronto Star completed an article on them in 2012 and they are still going strong.

Philip and Nancy created the following video on their recent return to Bunia. Brenda and I stayed with the Woods in 2008 and 2011, while helping them with projects at the hospital. (We first met in Beni in 2006.) This 3.5 minute video is a remarkable refresher of many familiar sites. The lab has new microscopes. My biggest takeaway from the video is the increase in cars in Bunia, even requiring a traffic cop! Downtown Bunia looks to be much more bustling, and the roads are paved! It was always notable how Uganda had cars while Congo had scooters or small motorcycles, but that has now changed.

The following photos were taken in 2008 for a comparison to the video. The first photo is the main street of Bunia looking from the CME lab near the MONUSCO HQ and looking towards the market area. The area still had UN soldiers on guard duty behind barbed wire. Barbed wire and soldiers were everywhere. Today, I understand the barbed wire to be gone yet there are still > 16,000 UN soldiers in Congo. It appears to still be an ongoing employment subsidy project of the UN to finance developing world soldiers.